WITH THE COMPLIMENTS OF
By STEPHEN G. BOYD.
YORK, PA. :
PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR:
COPYRIGHT SECURED BY
STEPHEN G. BOYD.
INQUIRER PRINTING Co..
TO THE COMMON SCHOOL TEACHERS,
A CLASS WHOSE DUTIES ARE
ARDUOUS AND OFTEN PAINFUL,
AND WHOSE LABORS ARE
RARELY APPRECIATED OR ADEQUATELY COMPENSATED,
THIS LITTLE BOOK,
WITH THE HOPE
THAT IT MAY OCCASIONALLY DROP A FLOWER IN THEIR
PATHWAY, IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED BY
WHILST engaged in teaching many years ago, I became impressed with the
idea that the signification of local names might be used by teachers not
only in imparting in many cases a better idea of the object named, but also
in enlivening the too frequently dull monotony of class recitation.
With this impression, I commenced the collection of the signification of
local names, found in all parts of the world, of all classes and in all languages.
Of course the work progressed slowly, especially as I rejected all definitions
known to be merely conjectural in their character, and received even tradi
tional ones with extreme caution.
As the work progressed, however, my interest in the subject increased, and
in order to avail myself of the very best authority on the subject in the Eng
lish language, I even ordered for my library from England during the Civil
War, when the rate of exchange was well nigh at its highest point.
Some years subsequent to this, whilst spending some months in Harrisburg,
Pa., in a position which gave me free use of the State library, I procured
from its shelves the nucleus of my present collection of Indian names.
It was no part of my purpose at the outstart to collect material for publica
tion, but such has been the pleasure derived from the study of the subject,
and such the evident advantage of a knowledge of the signification of local
names, not only to the teacher, but to all persons making any pretensions to
culture, indeed even to casual readers of the current literature of the day
that I have concluded to publish the result of my labors, especially as, so far
as known to me, the matter I have on hand is not now within reach of the public
in any practical form, but scattered through many volumes, and much of it
indeed, especially that relating to Indian names, not in print at all.
Upon concluding to publish my collection, my first thought was to print it
all in one volume, merely placing the Indian names in a separate vocabulary,
for greater convenience of reference. As the subject of local names in gen
eral, however, is a very broad and instructive one, from the study of which
can be learned not only very much concerning the object named, but also
much of the history and peculiarities of different peoples, and as I have not
now the time, nor all the data desirable, to enable me to bring to press
my contemplated work on local names in general, and as the present seems
as well suited for the introduction of the Indian names to the public, as any
future period is likely to be, I have concluded to publish my Indian collec
tion separately, and without further delay, hoping to be able to put the other
work through the press during the coming year.
In presenting this matter to the public, and especially to teachers, it is
due to all parties to say, I I ave acted merely the part of a compiler I hope a
careful one. But whilst this has been all it was in my power to do, I can
safely say I have spared no labor or pains to obtain my information from the
most reliable sources.
In the preparation of the work, I have availed myself of the writings of
Schoolcraft, Rev. John Heckewelder, Hon. J. II. Turnbull of Hartford,
Conn., Hon. Albert Gallatin, Hon. Albert G. Gatschet of the U. S. Bureau
of Ethnography, L. H. Morgan, Esq , Wm. C. Reichel, Esq., and others,
and I acknowledge myself greatly indebted for personal aid to Judge G. W.
Stidham of Eufala, I. T., N. T. True, Esq., of Bethel, Me., J. K. Simms,
Esq., of Fort Plain, N. Y., Rev. S. G. Wright of Leech Lake, Minn., Rev.
Thomas S. Williamson of St. Peter s, Minn., and Rev. J. Ross Ramsey of
Wewoka, I. Ty.
Notwithstanding the compiler has exercised every reasonable precaution to
insure accuracy, he cannot hope his little work is free from errors. Whilst
he freely admits that a knowledge of the score or more of Indian languages
and dialects of languages from which those words are derived, would have
enabled him to avoid errors into which he may have fallen, he is nevertheless
impressed with the thought that if we wait for a work of this kind, until some
one acquainted with all those languages shall write it, this generation will
have passed away before such an event is likely to happen, since he knows of
no one now living familiar with more than three or four of them. As before
stated, he has sought the very best sources of information, both in books and
in living persons, and has compiled the work with all possible care, rejecting
many words, the definitions of which were not well authenticated/.
Having done this, he commits his little volume to the public with the hope
that it may not only afford entertainment and instruction to its readers, but
that it will awaken a deeper interest in the subject of which it treats, and in
the history, habits and manners of the aboriginal races of America.
S. G. B.
SCATTERED all over our continent are to be found scores upon
scores of local names standing as silent but most eloquent memorials
of the previous existence of aboriginal races which will return to
dwell among us no more forever.
To all appearances those names are almost as imperishable as the
objects to which they are attached, and whilst the sweet melody of
their sounds is the subject of unceasing admiration, their signifi
cation though known to comparatively few persons, are no less
entitled to the attention of those who admire the exercise of good
judgment in the practical affairs of life, and the beautiful in thought
Possibly in those particulars the Indian local names in Ameri
ca, as given by themselves, will compare favorably with those given
by any other people in any country or at any known period of the
world s history.
To bring into clearer relief some of those characteristics of our
aboriginal races, as illustrated in their local nomenclature, as well
as to give greater zest to the study of our local history and geogra
phy, is the chief purpose of this compilation.
Whilst the writer fully recognizes the very great value of treatises
on the grammatical structure of our Indian languages, for several
reasons he has not deemed it proper to introduce matter of that
character into those pages. He rather recognizes the fact that
whilst such works are well suited to the wants and tastes of the few
who have the time and inclination for extended research into the
grammatical forms and etymological peculiarities and < haracteristics
of those languages and their very numerous dialects, the masses
must be content with a knowledge merely of the signification of
the local names scattered so profusely around them, and with which
they are brought into* daily contact.
In the preparation of the present work, my purpose has been to
produce as large a collection as possible of those names with their
signification, stripped of all dispensable verbiage.
Somewhat singular as it may appear, I have striven to make a
small book ra her than a large one.
The book having been intended for convenient referenc, nothing
has been incorporated in it that conld possibly be dispensed with.
True in many cases remarks more or less extended might have
been added to definitions, and innumerable foot notes could have
been added to swell the size and increase the cost of the work,
neither of which it was desirable to do, especially not the latter, as
I wish to place it within reach of every one interested in the sub
ject to which it relates.
It will be seen that in some cases two and sometimes even three
definitions are given to a word. In most cases these have been
obtained from entirely different sources, each entitled to more or
less credit, and may arise from a misappehension of the origin of
the word, owing to the very great phonetic corruption which has
taken place, or from translating from a different dialect, or in
cases of great similarity of elementary sounds from translating
from a root found in another language altogether, which would not
only change the shade of meaning, but give an entirely different
In many instances, too, when doubts existed as to the correct
ness of a definition, it has been so worded as to caution the reader
against its unqualified acceptance.
Whilst there might have been included in this connection with
out impropriety some remarks on the geograpical distribution of
the different Indian families whose local names appear in those
pages, the writer is free to admit that no matter how ably written
such an article might be, the maps on this subject, now found in
nearly every school history of the United States, will give a much
better idea of the geograpical position of those families and tribes
than any mere verbal description can possibly do.
Moreover, it is not my purpose to duplicate in this work infor
mation within easy reach elsewhere.
It will be seen, too, I have in many cases seemingly departed
from the correct orthography of words defined.
In those cases I have merely given the orthography of an earlier
day, or the orthography of the original translators, some of whom
are alluded to in the preface. Even Mr. Gatschet, recently trans
lating names in the Gulf States, departs widely from the orthogra
phy found there.
Although I have mainly followed the orthography of the present,
fearing, unless I did so, the names in many cases could not be iden
tified with the present ones, there are very good reasons why the
original orthography should be retained. The fact is we are fast
drifting away, by phonetic corruption, from those beautiful Indian
words, and the time may come when many of the names standing
for those given by the aborigines will contain hardly one sound
embraced in the original word ; in which case those words could
no longer be traced to their origin, by their phonetic elements.
Were it of any avail, we would say stop this mutilation. But it goes
on, and will continue to go on until the last element of the original
word, like the last remnant of the race that used it, shall have
Already whilst many words like Paxton, Port Tobacco and Yel
low Breeches have metamorphosed so completely their origin would
not be suspected, others are following in their train to hasten the
time when the English tongue giving forth purely English sounds,
onlv, shall encircle the globe.
Nothing is more evident than that all Indian local names have, or
had a signification, and that in m >st case^ those names were given
with rare good judgment ; at any rate, that they exercised quite as
much judgment and good taste in such matters as did any of the
races in Europe or Asia in former times. A very large majority of
their names convey an idea of some property, quality or character
istic of the object named, and not a few are commemorative of
events which took place at or near the object, to which the names
belong, and therefore may be said to be historical in their char
acter. Whilst, however, the Indians frequently embalm events in
their local names, they rarely honor their great men by giving
their names to geographical objects, differing in this particular very
greatly from our own people ; and they quite as rarely manifest any
religious sentiment or predilection in their local names.
Nor did they often give names having a metaphorical rather than
a literal meaning. True they bestowed such beautiful names as
Minnehaha and Suwanee, but they were descriptions of what was
real in nature.
This circumstance would seem to indicate that they were not an
imaginative people, notwithstanding many of their great men have
been noted for their eloquence. Judging, too, from their names,
we should think they were rather grave than gay, although several
of those names record their places of drinking and feasting.
What strikes us very forcibly, is the uniformity, in character, of
their nam<?s over the entire area of our continent, from which we
must infer about the same degree of intellectual development, if
not indeed great similarity in mental characteristics. No one sec
tion seems to show more intellectual culture than another, or more
fancy, or more of the aesthetic element, or more religious veneration,
or more of the sentiment of patriotism.
Whilst comparatively little of their history prior to the arrival of
Europeans can be learned from their local names, mainly because
they were destitute of letters, they prove unerring landmarks in
determining the territorial limits not only of different families, but
very often of different tribes of the same family, since many tribes
had dialects of their own.
I need hardly say the Indians are not responsible for the very
free use which has been made of their local nomenclature by
European settlers in this country, who have been using them with
out any regard whatever to their signification rivers taking the
names of mountains, and mountains of rivers, and the names of both
given to cities, towns, political divisions, post-offices, and corner
groceries. Nor are they responsible for the transplanting of those
names to localities where they could not possibly have been pro
nounced by the indeginous population.
It is to be deeply regretted that the signification of so many of
those names are lost, we fear beyond all hope of recovery. Inde
pendent of the very great change, phonetically, which many words
have undergone, where idiomatic constructions occur even a fair
knowledge of the language will not always insure a correct trans
lation. This being the case, it is all-important that those transla
tions be made whilst the Indian is yet a living language.
Indeed, even now some of those dialects are unknown to their
few mongrel descendants. But much can yet be done to save our
rich Indian nomenclature from oblivion, especially if it be quickly
It will be seen I have appended a few words to the general vo
cabulary. These were not obtained in time for insertion in their
proper place. They have been procured mainly from Mr. Morgan s
League of the Iriquois, a work now out of print, but richly entitled
I have also included in this volume in a miscellaneous vocabulary
a few words from my coming work on local names in general,
selecting mainly from those which I have not seen published in any
work easily accessible to the general reader.
ABAQUA GE ; i. e., "a flaggy meadow:" the name of a pond in
Conn., near the source of Little River.
ABENA KES, ABANA KEK, or ABENA KISS, wabanung the east, or
place of light, and akee land ; i, e., " the east land"; the name
given to a large tribe of Indians, formerly inhabiting the extreme
northeastern part of the U. S.
ABRIGA DA, abrigaut ; i. e., "shelter," "hiding-place;" the
name of a hill in Waterbury, Conn., having on its side a deep
cavern-like cliff called "the Indian house;" whence the name.
ABSF/CON, ABSE CUM, wabisee a swan, and ong for ink place;
i. e., " the place of the swan;" the name of a creek in New Jersey.
ABWOI NA, or ABWOINAC, abwoin a Sioux, and akee land ; i. e.,
" the land of the Sioux ; a term formerly applied in a general way
to the country lying between the Miss, and the Mo. rivers, and
north of the St. Peters river, formerly occupied by the Sioux.
AC COMAC, acaiun-anke ; i. e., "on the other side," or "the
other side land ;" the name of a peninsula east of Chesapeake Bay.
This name was given by the Nanticoke Indians. Other authorities
say the word is derived from aco limit, auk wood, and alike e
land, and means, " the limit of the wood-land."
ACE YEDAN; i. e., " place of weeping ;" so called by the Dakotah
Indians, because of weeping there the death of some of their rela
tives; the name of a large creek in N. W. Iowa. See Oce yedan.
ACH V AFALAY A, hucha river, falaya long; i. e., " long river ;"
the name of the principal western outlet of the Miss, river. The
word is sometimes spelled Atchafalaya.
2 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
ACH\>UAKENU NA, tach quach acan mena; i. e., " where pounding
blocks are made," or "where we get the wood for pounding
blocks," namely gum, which wood the Indians call tachquaha
ACHQUANSCH ICOLA, ach quoanch icola / i. e., "the place from
which we take fish by means of the bush nets." This spot is near
the Lehigh Water Gap, west side of the river.
ACHSIN NINK ; i. e., "standing stone;" the name of a place in
Western Penna. The word is said to allude to a large rock stand
ing separate, and where no others are near.
ACH WICK, ACHWEEK; i. e., "bushy," "difficult to pass;" the
name of a creek in Central Penna.
ACKEEKSEE BE, akuk kettle, and sipi stream; i. e., "kettle
stream;" the name of a northern tributary of Rum River, which
enters the Miss, a few miles north of the Falls of St. Anthony.
ACOM EQUES; i. e., "the land on the other side ;" the name of
a district on the east side of the Thames river, in Conn., and near
ACOMES. This word is supposed to be derived from aco a
bound, or point; and is thought to mean "a rest," or " a place of
stopping ;" the name of a fall in the Amariscoggin river in Maine.
ACQUAC KANONCK\ aco limit, misquak red cedar, auk wood,
(stump, or trunk of tree;) i. e., " the limit of the red cedar stumps,
or trunks ;" or possibly a better translation would be " the limit of
the red cedar wood;" the name of a village on the Passaic river in
ACQUI A, equiwi ; i. e., "between, or in between" (something.)
Others say the word is derived from akki earth, and means liter
ally " earthy, or muddy creek ;" the name of a creek in Va.
AHIKI, or OUHEGEE, dhiiki; i. e., "Sweet potato mother:" the
name of an eastern tributary of the Chattahoochee river.
AISAHATCHA, itchi, or itche deer, and hatcha river; i. e.,
" Deer River. * This was formerly the name of a river in Fla. now
ca AT hvr 1 isrwedi edlores from the Creek and Seminole.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 3
ALABAM A, alba thicket, and ayalmu place cleared (of trees or
underbrush;) i. e., " thicket clearers." The name was first applied
to a tribe of Indians who formerly resided at the junction of the
Tombigbee and the Coosa, or Alabama.
ALGAN SEE, gan-lake, mushco-dainsee prairie; i.e., " the lake
prairie," or the prairie resembling a lake;" the name of a town-
township in Branch Co., Michigan.
ALGONAC , algonkm akee ; i. e., "Algonquin Land;" the name
of a village in St. Clair county, Michigan.
ALGON KIN, ALLEGAN, sagiegan a lake : the name of an agricul
tural and mining county in Michigan.
ALLEGHE NY, welhik-hanne, or oolik-hanne ; i. e., the best, or
the fairest stream." The foregoing is supposed to be the correct
definition, derived from the language of the Delaware Indians.
AL LUM, or WALLUM S POND; i. e., "the fox pond;" the name
of a pond in the N. E., part of Conn.
AMAKAL LI, or AMACALLEE, ama water, and kalola sliding,
tumbling ; i. e., "the sliding or tumbling water;" the name of a
tributary of the Flint Driver in Miss.
AM BOY ; called by the Indians who dwelt there embote, which
sig., if Indian, " round and hollow ;" the name of a town in N. J.
AMENONOOSUC, namaes fish, hussan stone, uc place; i. e.,
" the stony fish place," or " the stony fish brook ;" the name of a
western tributary of the Androscoggin River in N. H.
AMIC WAYS, or AMICAWAES, amik a beaver.
AMIKAIN DAND ; i. e., "beaver house;" the name of the most
eastern of the Beaver Islands in Lake Michigan.
AN DES, anta copper. This name was applied by the Indians
to the mountains near Cuzco, the ancient capital of Peru.
ANNEMO SING, annemose a young fox, ing (ink.) place; i. e.,
" the place of the young fox ;" the Indian name of the Fox Islands
in Lake Michigan.
ANO KA ; i. e., " on both sides;" the name of a village in Minn,
on both sides of Rum River.
4 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
APACH KS. This word is said to mean "men;" the name of a
tribe of Indians.
APPALA CHEE; supposed to be derived from apalatchi okli ; i. e.,
those (people) on the other side/ or " the people on the other
side;" the term was formerly applied to a town on Appalachee
Bay, Fla. It is now the name of a river in the northern part of
APVALA V CHICO LA, cipalatchukla ; i. e., old town." This river
was named after an Indian town formerly standing on its banks.
APPOL KCON, apelogacan, or apillochgacan ; i. e., " from whence
the messenger returned," possibly the way by which the messen
ger returns." This word is from the Minsy a dialect of the Len-
AQUAPAUK/SIT. This word probably means "at the end of a
small pond ;" the name of a place in Conn.
AQUAS QUIT, achowasquit ; i. e., "grassy," "overgrown with
AQUEB APAUG, AQUAB EPAUG. This word may mean either " be
fore the pond," or the "pond before" some other pond; the
name of a pond near the head of Pawcatuck river in R. I.
ASH AWOG, ASSAWAUG, NASHAWOG ; i. e., the "place between
two rivers," or the crotch of a river. This word is said to occur
frequently in New England in various combinations.
ASH OWUGH CUMMOCK E ; i. e., "the half way place," or "the
place between ;" that is, " the island between the large island and
the main land;" the name of an island near New London, Conn.
ASPET UC, ASPAT OCK ; i. e., "a height ;" the name of a river in
New Milford, Conn. There is a ridge dividing the two principal
branches of this river, called Aspatuck Hill, and the probability is
the river took its name from the hill.
ASP ROOM ; i. e., "high," "lofty" or "elevated;" the name of
a mountain in Conn.
ASSAWAS SUC, assawa suck, or nashuae suck ; i. e., "the fork of
the brook," or better " the place between the forks of the brook,"
the name of a place in E. Glastenbury, Conn.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 5
ASSIN ABOINA, ossin a stone or stony, abwoina Sioux, akee
earth or country; i. e., "the stony country of the Sioux."
ASTEN ROGEN, osteura rock, oge in the water ; i. e., "the rock
in the water; the Indian name for Little Falls, Herkimer Co.,
A TE SI, a 1 tassa ; i. e., " war club ;" the name of a town in the In
dian territory, called after an old town on the Tallapoosa River.
ATTACAP AS ; i. e., " men eaters." This word was originally the
name of an Indian tribe in the gulf states, and would indicate that
its members practiced cannibalism.
ATTAPUL GUS, itu pulga ; i. e., "boring holes into wood to make
fire;" the name of a village in Decatur Co., Ga.
BALD EAGLE CR., PA., was called by the Indians wapalanne was
chiech hanne, i. e., " the stream whereon is the bald eagle s nest."
BANT AM. This word may be derived from peantum, and if so
it sig. "he prays," or "praying," meaning a Christian Indian ; at
present the name of a small river in Conn.
BEAVER DAM CREEK, in W. Penna., was called by the Indians
amochk pah as ink ; i., e., " the place where the beaver have shut
up the stream."
BIG BEAVER RIVER was called by the Indians amochkwi sipu, or
amochk hanne ; i. e., "beaver stream;" the name of a river in W.
BIGTOOTH CREEK, Centre Co , Pa. , was called by the Indians
mangipi sink ; i. e., "the place where big teeth are found."
BILOX I, B LUKSI, luktchi turtle. The sig. of the particle B is
lost, but the word has some allusion to the catch of turtles ; the
name of a bay and town on the coast of Miss.
BLACK LICK CREEK, in W. Penna., was called by the Indians
naskaishoni ; i. e., "the lick of a blackish color."
BROOK LYN, N. Y., or rather the place where that city stands,
was called by the Indians mereychawick, from me the, reckwa
sand, ick place or locality; i. e., " the sandy place."
6 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
BUF FALO CREEK, W. Penna., was called by the Indians sisilic-
hanne ; i. e., "the stream resorted to by the buffaloes."
BUSHY CREEK, in W. Penna., was called by the Indians achemek ;
i. e., "bushy," "difficult to cross."
CAN ADA, kanata, or kanada ; i. e., " a village " or " a town."
CANAJOHAR IE, kanada village, oquari a bear; i. e., " the -vil
lage of the bear," others say the word means " the pot that washes
itself;" the name of a town on the Mohawk river, N. Y.
CANDOT O, candatowa ; i. e., "high land;" the name of the
ridge upon which the town of Ridgefield, Conn, stands.
CANKAPO/A ; i. e., "light wood ;" the name of a small lake at
the head of Vermillion river, Dakota.
CANNON PA ; i. e., "two woods;" the name of a chain of small
lakes in E. Dakota ; so called on account of having two small groves
of timber on their banks.
CANNOUCH EE, from the Creek word ikano dshi ; i. e., "graves
are there ;" the name of a river in Ga.
CAPA GE, kuppaug, or kobpog; i. e., "an enclosed place." Pos
sibly the name may have originally been applied to the Narrows,
in the Naugatuck river at Beacon Hill, Conn.
CASSACUB QUE, kussukobske ; i. e., "high rock;" the name of a
great ledge of rocks in Colchester, Conn.
CATASAU QUA, gattoshacki; i. e., "the earth is thirsty," "wants
rain ;" the name at present of a town in Lehigh Co., Penna.
CATAWIS SA, gatta wissi ; i. e., "becoming fat;" the name of a
creek in Columbia Co., Penna., emptying into the Susquehanna
CAUCOMGO MIC, kau-kon-gumik ; i. e., "at the big gull lake;" the
name of a lake in Me.
CAUGH V NAVAG A ; i. e., "stone in the rapid water." Some
writers say this word means coffin-shaped stone in the water ; the
name of a town on the Mohawk river in N. Y.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 7
CAW AN SHAN OCK, gawunscli-hanne ; i. e., "green briar stream;"
the name of a creek in Armstrong Co., Pa.
CAYUGA, or CYUGA, kaouhiokwen ; i. e., "canoes pulled out of
water." Other authorities say this word sig. "long lake;" the
name of a lake in N. Y.
CEGA IYEYAP I; f. e., " kettles are found ;" the name of the lakes
and country near Fort Wadsworth, Dakota.
CHANHAS AN; i. e., "pale bark wood," "sugar tree;" the name
of several small rivers in Minn, and Dakota.
CHANK A ; i. e., "fire stone;" the name of a western tributary
of the Dakota, formerly Jaques or James river ; so called from a
very hard rock consisting of semifused or vitrified sand-stone, found
near its mouth.
CHAN V SHA V YAP I ; i. e., "red wood," literally "a post painted
red ;" the name of a western tributary of the Minn.
CHAN-SHU -SHKA ; i. e., "box elder;" the name of a tribe of
CHANSSNSAN ; i. e., "tumbling," or "rapid;" the Dakota name
for what is now called Dakota river.
CHA PA ; i. e., "beaver;" the name of a river in Minn.
CHASKE. This word is the name of a village on the Minn, river
in Carver Co., Minn., and is the name of the first child of a woman,
if a son ; if a daughter, the name would be Winona.
CHASMU NA ; i. e., "sandy;" the name of a tribe of Dakotas.
CHATTAHATCH EE ; i. e., "rock river, or rocky river."
CHATTAHOO CHEE, CHATAHUCHI, tchatu rock, stone, hutchi
marked, provided with signs; i. e., "pictured rocks;" the name
of a large river of Ga.
CHATTANOO GA, said to mean "crow s nest;" the name of a
creek in Ga. ; also the name of a city in Tennessee.
CHAUTAU QUA; i. e., "foggy place;" the name of a lake in the
S. W. part of N. Y. Probably the name was first applied to some
portion of its shores.
8 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
CHEESECHANKAM UCK ; i. e., "the great fishing place at the
wier;" the name of the east branch of Farmington river, Conn.
CHEH TAN BEH, or CHETAN BE; i. e., "sparrow hawk s nest;"
the name of a tributary of the Minn, river.
CHES APEAKE, che or f chi great, sepe or sipi water stretched
out, ahki place; i. e., " the place where there is a great body of
still water stretched out." Another definition from pretty good
authority, is "superior saltish bay."
CHEPACH ET; i. e., "a place of separation," as where a stream
divides ; the name of a creek and village in R. I.
CHEYENN E, SHAIENNA or SHYENNE ; i. e., "speaking a different
language;" the name originally of a tribe of Indians recognized as
a part of the great Dakota family, although their language indicated
that they sprang from the Chippewa or Algonkin stock.
CHICA GO, chicagowunzh; i. e., "the wild onion or leek."
Kaug, in the Algonkin, sig. "porcupine," and she-kaug "pole
cat." The analogy between those words is apparent; but whether
the onion was named before or after the animal we leave our read
ers to investigate for themselves, that field of inquiry lying beyond
the scope of the present work.
The probability is, however, that where the great city of Chicago
now stands the wild onion once held undisputed sway.
CHICKAHOM INY, chik-amaw-hony ; i. e., "turkey lick," or "the
lick at which the turkeys are plenty ; " the name of a river in Va.
CHICKAMAU GA ; said to mean " river of death;" the name of a
small river of Ga. and Tenn.
CHICKEMAX EN, chicke -big, maxen or moxen a moccasin; i. e.,
CHICONES SE, chic-onas-ink ; i. e., "the place where it was forci
bly taken from us, against our will."
CHICK HANSENK\ tschink hansink , i. e. , "where we were robbed,"
or " the place where the robbery was committed."
CHICOM ICO, che great, comaco house, or enclosed place ; i e ,
"the great house;" possibly the house of a Sachem.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 9
CHIK NICOM IKA now CHICACOMICO, tschik enumike ; i. e., "the
place of turkeys," or "the place where turkeys are plenty;" the
name of a stream on the eastern shore of Maryland.
CHIKISALUN GA, chik is walunga ; supposed to mean " place of
crabs, or crab-fish," or "the creek on which the ground is full of
holes made by the crab-fish." Others say the word means "long
piece of land where rabbits burrow." The word is now the name
of a creek in Lane. Co., Pa.
CHILESQUA QUE, chelesuage ; i. e., "resort of snowbirds;" the
name of a creek in Northumberland Co., Pa.
CHIN KE CLA MOO SE, aehts-chingi-clamme ; i. e., "it almost meets
together," or "nearly joins."
CHIP^PAQUID DICK, or CHIPPOQUIDDICK, cheppi-aquidne ; i. e.,
"separated island: " the name of an island separated by a narrow
strait from Martha s Vineyard.
CHIP PEWAY, oshib wah; i. e., " he overcomes," not in battle
only, but in any undertaking, or " he surmounts obstacles."
CHISSENES SICK, chuessenesik ; i. e., "the place of blue birds,"
or "the place where blue birds flock together;" the name of a
river in Va.
CHOHWAJ ICA ; i. e., "willow;" the name of several streams and
lakes in Minn.
CHO KIN ; i. e., "roasting," or "the place of the roasting;" the
name of a lake in Minn., near the Mayauakan River, probably so
called from the Dakotas roasting here, teepoinna, a root much used
by them for food, and found in great abundance on its banks.
CHOWAN , chawwanoke ; i. e., "south, or southern country."
The name was applied to this stream by Capt. John Smith. It
was, however, applied by the Powhatans and neighboring tribes of
Va., to the country south of them; the name of a river of Va. and
N. C. flowing into Albemarle Sound.
CHUQUISA CA; i. e., "bridge of gold" in the Quinchua Indian
dialect. This word is the name of the present capital of Bolivia
on the Rio de la Plata, a small tributary of the Cachimayo.
There is a ford on the river at this point across which vast treas-
10 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
ures were formerly carried by the Incas of Peru, on their way to
Cuzco. From this circumstance the name is supposed to have been
CHY GOES, tschich ohaiki ; i. e., "the oldest planted ground;"
the Indian name of the place where Bennington, N. J., now
CICOUES SING, kikous fish, ink place ; i. e., " the fishing place ;"
the Indian name of Lewis Creek, Del.
COAQUAN NOK; i. e., "grove of tall pine trees;" I think this
name was applied by the Indians to the spot where Philad. now
stands. This place was subsequently called by them quak al nunk ;
i. e., "place of Quakers."
COASSAT TUCK, kowas htugk ; i. e., "pine wood;" the name of
a hill in N. Stonington, Conn.
COCAL ICO/ i. e., "where snakes gather together in holes or
dens" to pass the winter; the name of a creek in Lancaster Co.,
COCHABAM BA ; i. e., "the granary;" a department of Bolivia
rich in agricultural products, lying east of the Andes.
COCH IKU ACK; i. e., "a wild, dashing stream."
COCOO SING, gok-hos-ing, or gok-hos-ink ; i. e., "place of owls;"
the name of a small stream that rises in Montville, Conn., and flows
into the Thames river.
CODO RUS. It is said this word means "rapid water." It is
probably of Iriquois origin; the name of a stream in southern
Penna. on which the town of York is located. An older orthog
raphy is C adores.
COHOCK SINK, cuwen-hack-ink ; i. e., "at the fine pine lands."
CONCHAR DEE, kanshade ; i. e., "red dirt," "red earth;" a word
of Creek origin and now the name of a place a few miles west of
CON EAUET LAKE ; i. e., " snow lake;" the name of a lake in W.
CON EDOGWIN IT, or CONODOGUINIT ; i. e., "for a long way noth-
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. I I
ing but bends," "continual bends;" the name of a stream in
Cumbl d Co., Pa.
CON EMAUGH; i. e., otter creek :" a stream in W. Penna. flow
ing into the Kiskeminets River.
CONEQUENES SING; i. e., "for a long way straight," or "run
ning a straight course;" the name of a creek in Butler Co., Pa.
CONESTO GO. It may be that this word which is generally sup
posed to be of Iriquoi origin, is a corruption of canastagiowne ; i. e.,
"the great magic land;" the English settlers applying the name
to the stream ; the name of a creek flowing through a most charm
ing section of Lan. Co., Pa.
CONEWA GO, gune uage ; i. e., a " long strip," or " long reach ;"
the name of a large creek in Dauphin Co., Pa. The probability is
the name was first applied to a district near Middletown, in Dau
phin Co., Pa., now also the name of rapids in the Susquenanna
near Middletown, and also the name of a creek in York Co., Pa.,
flowing into this river near those rapids.
CONEWAN GO ; i. e., "they have been long gone;" the name of
a creek flowing into the Alleghany river in Warren Co., Pa.
CONEWAN TA, guneunga ; i. e., " they staid long time away."
CONNECT ICUT, Quinmtuk ; i. e., " land on the long tidal river,"
or "land on the river without end, with tides."
CONECOCHEAGUE, (KonVko-cheeg ) ; i. e., " indeed a long way."
The word seems to refer to some occasion when a party of Indians
became impatient of travel ; the name of a stream in Franklin Co.,
COOKQUA GO, kekoa, okowa an owl, and goa big; i. e., "big
owl ;" the name of the west branch of the Delaware river.
Coos ; a Lenappe word, sig. "pines," or " the pines."
CORAPECH EN, cola pechen ; i. e., "fierce running stream ;" the
name of a creek in Md.
COSHEC TON; supposed to sig "finished small harbor."
Cow AMPS, COWOMPSQUE, can ompsk ; i. e., "a whet-stone," or
12 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
rock suitable for that purpose ; the name of a place on the south
side of Potatuck river in Conn.
COWANES QUE; i. e., "briery," " thornbushy ;" the name of a
creek in N. Penna.
COWAS SIT, COWISSECK ; i. e., a "place of small pine trees."
The name is now applied to a small stream in Conn.
COWAUT ACUCK, kowaw-lugk-auk ; i. e., "pine wood land."
The word is at present the name of a small river in Conn.
COW WAUS ; i. e., "pine land;" the name of a rugged tract in
Conn., near New London.
CROOKED CREEK, PA., was called by the Indians woak-hanne ;
i. e., "crooked stream."
CROSS CR. IN WASH. Co., PA. The Indian name of this stream
was wewunsschi saquik ; i. e., "two streams emptying themselves
into a river on opposite sides."
CUN NEYAUT, CUNNEAUT, gunneate ; i. e., "it is long since they
went ;" the name of a creek in N. Penna.
CUP PACOM MUCK ; i. e., " a close place," "a hiding place ;" the
name of a swamp in Conn.
CUPSUP TIC; i. e., "the act of drawing a sieve while fishing;"
the name of the most northern of the Umbagog chain of lakes in
CUSSAWA GO ; i. e., "snake with big belly;" the name of a
creek in Crawford Co. , Pa.
CUSSE TA, hasi hta; i. e., "coming from the sun." The word
is at present the name of a town in Ala.
DAHLON EGA, tau-lau-ne-ca ; i. e., "yellow money;" the name
of a village in Ga., near the richest gold mines in the State.
DAKO TA; i. e., " many in one government." It will be ob
served this word is the equivalent of our E pluribus unum. This is
the name by which the largest tribe or nation of Indians in the
U. S. call themselves. They were formerly better known by the
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 13
name of the Sioux. The name is said to have been assumed be
cause the nation consists of many tribes.
DEL AWARE RIVER. The Indians are said to have called this
stream the kit-hanne ; i. e., " the largest stream."
DETROIT was called by the Indians teuch sa grandie, also wa-we-
tun ong, both words sig. "the place of the turned channel." It
has been remarked by many visitors who reached this place by boat
at night, or in dark weather, or who were inattentive to the cur
rents, that owing to the extraordinary involutions of those currents,
the sun appears to rise in the wrong place.
EEL RIVER, IND. This river was called by the Indians shoa-
maque ; i. e., " slippery fish," possibly equivalent to a translation.
ELK CREEK, WASH. Co., IND., was called by the Indians moos-
hanne ; i. e., "elk stream." Moos is the name for elk in the Del
ELK LICK CREEK, in Penna., called by the Indians mosi-mahon-
hanne ; i. e., "elk lick stream."
E QUINUNK ; i. e., " the place where the wearing apparel is dis
tributed ;" the name of a town in Wayne Co., Pa., on the Dela
ES QUIMAUX, from the Algonkin word eskimautick^; i. e., "eaters
of raw fish."
ES^TABO GA, isti people, apokita to reside; i. e., "where peo
ple reside ;" the name of a town on the Coosa river, Alabama.
EYOTA . It is probable this word is a corruption of lyotan, a
Dakota word sig. "greatest," or "the greatest;" the name of a
village near the boundary line between Iowa and Minn.
FINHOL OWAY, fin-hd-lui; i. e., "high bridge," or "high foot
log ;" the name of a swamp in Ga.
FISHING CREEK, IN CENTRE Co., PA., was called by the Indians
namaes-hanne ; i. e., " fish stream."
14 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
FRANKFORD CREEK in E. Penna., was called by the Indians win-
gohocking, or wingehocking ; i. e., "choice spot of ground for culti
vation," "a favorite spot for planting." Of course allusion is had
to the fertile banks of the stream.
GANGAS COE, shin-gas-cui ; i. e., "level and boggy."
GASCON SAGE ; i. e., " the perpendicular falls," now Rochester,
GICHTH HANNK ; " largest stream in the place or parts."
GOOKHO SING ; i. e., "habitation of owls," or "place of owls."
GUKNT ICO, guentican ; i. e., "dancing," place of frolicking."
HACK ENSACK, supposed to be derived from haucquan-sauk ; i. e.,
"hook mouth;" the name of the channel by which the waters of
Newark Bay find their way around Bergen Point to New York
Bay. Shok or sank is a root denoting "to pour out," or "pour
ing out." Others say this word is derived from hack-ink-sa-quink t
and sig. "a stream which unites with another stream in a low place
or on low ground, that discharges almost imperceptibly into anofher
HACK INGSACK, hacking low, aki land; i. e., "low land."
HANNE, HANNA, HANNOK generic terms in the Delaware lan
guage for stream.
HAS ACK, ossum stone, ack place; i. e., "the place of the
stones," or " the stony place."
HAT CHIE or HAT CHEE, a generic term in the Creek and Chero
kee languages sig. stream (creek or river). In the Seminole dia
lect it is said to mean "little river."
HAT TERAS. I am inclined to the opinion that this word was
originally the name of a tribe of Lenappe Indians, and was given
to the Cape by the English.
HAY TI, said to mean " high land," " mountainous country." It
was called by Columbus, its discoverer, Hispanola i. e., "Little
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 15
HEHDO KA, or REHDOKA; i. e., "gap in the mountain;" the
name of a place where there is a depression or gap in the contour
of the prairie near the line between Minn, and Iowa.
HEI PA or REI PA ; i. e., "head of the mountain."
HIGGAN UM ; i. e., "at the ax or tomahawk rock ;" the name of
a brook and village in Haddam, Conn.
HO BO KEN, hopecan ; i. e., " smoke pipe," others say "tobacco
pipe," the name of a town on the Hudson, in New Jersey.
HOCCAN UM or HOCKAN UM, hocquaum ; i. e., " hook," or " hook
shaped ;" the name of a river in E. Hartford, Conn.
HOCK^ENDOC QUE ; "searching for land."
HO KA; i. e., "horn;" the name of a small tributary of the
Miss, near its source.
HOCK HOCK ING ; i. e., "place of the gourd which resembles a
bottle;" Achsinmmk or standing stone ; the name of a locality in
Bradford Co., Pa.; also the name of a river in eastern Ohio.
HOK AMAN ; i. e., "where herons set, or breed;" the name of
several lakes in Minn.
HOP PENY CREEK, hoblenisink ; i. e., "potato creek, or the creek
where the wild potato grows ;" the name of a creek in N. E. Penna,
HOUSATON IC, wnssi aderic nk ; i. e., "the river beyond the
mountain." This river is in the western part of Conn, immediately
west of a mountain range.
HUDSON RIVER. This stream was called by the Delaware In
dians Mohicannet tuck ; i. e., the river of the Mohicans.
I DAHO; said to mean " the gem of the mountain."
IMNIJ A, or EMNEJ A ; i. e., "rock," properly "a rock washed
by water :" the name of a village in Dakota on the Big Sioux river.
IMNIJ A-SKA\ or EMNIJASKA ; i. e., "white rock;" the Dakota
name for the city of St. Paul, Minn.
INK PA, eenk-pah ; i. e., "end," or "point ;" the name of a trib-
1 6 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
utary of the Minn., entering from the southwest near Lac qui
Parle, which was formerly considered the head or end of the Minn,
IN YAN-BOSDA TA, or ENYAN-BOSDATA ; i. e., "stone standing
on end;" the Dakota name for Cannon river in Neb., and the
name of a village near it.
INYAN REAKAH ; i. e., " river of the rock;" the name of a river
IN YAN-SHAH-SHAH-WAK PA ; i. e., "river of red stones;" the
Dakota name for the Des Moines river.
IN YAN-TANK-INK-IN YAN-AIDE ; i. e., "lake of big stones;" so
called from the rocky mounds found near the lower end of the lake;
the name of a lake in Minn.
IN YAN-YAN KE; i. e., "stones there;" the Indian name of the
Little Sioux river.
IO WA. The sig. of this word is obscure, but it is supposed to
be derived from the Dakota word ayuhba ; i. e., "drowsy." The
name was applied by the Dakotas to several Indian tribes.
IPAK SHAN; i. e., "crooked;" the Dakota name for the Big
ISAX , inyan-sa pa, or isanyati ; i. e., "pale stone;" the name of
a small lake near the head of Rum river in Minn., upon the banks
of which probably were found the flint from which the Dakotas
made their knives and hatchets, as the word isan is now said to
sig. knife in their language.
IZTACCIHUATL, ees-tahk-see-hwcih? I ; i. e., "White Lady." This
mountain with the mountain of Popocatepetl forms the twin vol
canic mountains of Mexico.
IZU ZA; i. e., "white stone;" the name of a tributary of the
Minnesota entering that stream a short distance below Big Stone
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 17
JAMAI CA; a corruption of Xayamaca; i. e., "land of wood and
water;" the name of one of the most delightful of the W. I.
JAMES RIVER, VA. The Indians called this stream pawat-hanne,
i. e., "the river of pregnancy." The noted chief Powhatan is
supposed to have been named after the stream.
KANDIZO HI, kandi buffalo-fish, izohi come to, or come into ;
i. e., "that which the buffalo-fish come into;" the name of a lake,
and now of a county in Minn.
KATAH DIN, kata-adeni; i. e. , " the greatest, or chief mountain ;"
the name of the highest mountain in Maine.
KATCH ENAHA ; i. e., "turkey lake;" the name of a lake in
KEAR SARGE, koowass-adchu ; i. e., "sharp or pointed pine
mountain," or merely "the notched, or peaked mountain;" the
name of a mountain in N. H.
KEHT HAN NE ; i. e., "principal or greatest stream." This
name was given by the Lenappe Indians to the Delaware river.
The same .name is said to have been given by the Delawares on the
banks of the Ohio, to that stream.
KEN NEBEC V , quinni-nippi-ohke, or quinni-pi-ohki ; i. e., "long
water place;" the name of a river of New England.
KENOS HA ; i. e., "a pickerel;" the name of a town on the
western shore of Lake Michigan.
KENTUCK Y. Some suppose this word to be derived from kentake-
kowa ; i. e., " the prairies. "Other authority says that the word is
from the Shawnee language and sig. "at the head of a river."
KEN ZUA, or KENJUA, kents-chuak ; i. e., " they gobble;" that
is, "the wild turkeys gobble;" the name of a creek in central
1 8 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
KEWEE NAW, kewa-ue-nau ; i. e., " the place where we cross by
land carrying the canoe ;" the name of a peninsula in the north
ern part of Mich. It is probable the name was first applied to
some narrow portage on this peninsula.
KIGISCHGOT UM, or KIGISCHKOTUM ; the Indian name for the
KIKITSCH IMUS, kik-itsch-emuis ; i. e., "deer creek."
KISCHICOQUIL IS, gischi already, achgook snakes, walicu in
dens; i. e., "the snakes have already got into their dens;" the
name of a creek in MifHin Co., Pa.
KISKATA^MEN AKOOK, keskatonunakanke ; i. e., "the place of
shelled nuts;" the name of a locality near the Catskill mountains,
KIS^KIMIN ETAS, giesh-gumanito ; i. e., "make daylight." Tra
dition says a warrior encamping on its banks said this during the
night to his comrades, so impatient was he to move forward ; the
name of a stream in Armstrong Co., Penna.
KITCH^I GAM I, or KECHE GUMMIE ; i. e., "the great or chief
lake;" the Chippewa name for Lake Superior.
KITCHOPATAKI, kitchu maize-pounding (block of wood,) pataki
spreading out; i. e., "where the Maize Wood river is spread
out;" the name of a tributary of the Tallapoosa river.
KIT TA ; a generic term in the Delaware language sig., " great,"
or "very great," or "large/ E. G. Kish-an-ink large place.
KIT N TAHIC AN ; i. e., "the great ocean."
KITTAN NING, kit-hanne ; i. e., "large stream," or "the place
on the largest stream ;" the name of the capital of Armstrong Co.,
KIT TATIN NY, kit-adini, or kata-adini ; i. e., "the greatest, or
chief mountain ;" the name of an extensive mountain range in E.
Penna., containing the Delaware and Lehigh water gaps.
KIT TATON, kitchc great, or big, otan town or village; i. e.,
" the great town or village ;" at present the name of a creek in
Va., entering the Potomac opposite Point of Rocks; probably so
named on account of an Indian village on its banks.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 19
KIT TEMAUG\ kehte-amaug; i. e., great fishing place;" the
name of a locality on the east bank of the Thames river in Conn.
KO KOMO ; i. e., "young grandmother; " the name of a town in
KUT TUCK, kehtetuk ; i. e., "great river;" the Indian name of
the Blackstone river in Conn,
KU WEN-HAN NE ; i. e., "stream running through pine trees."
LACKVMIS SA ; leganimksa ; i. e., "the sandy ground."
LACK AWAN NA, techau-hanne ; i. e., "forked stream," or "the
stream that forks; " the name of a creek in Eastern Penna. flowing
into the Susquehanna above Wilkesbarre.
LACK AUWAX EN, lachauweksink ; i. e., "at the forks of the
road ; " the name of a river in Pike Co., Pa.; named probably by
the English after a locality, now a town, of the same name, where
it empties into the Delaware.
LACK^AWAN AK, LACK\AWAN NOCK, lechau-hannock ; i. e., "the
forks of the two streams," or "the place of the fork." The Lacka-
wannock mountain in Eastern Penna. originates at the junction of
the Lackawanna river with the Susquehanna, and from its location
at the fork of those streams may be said to have an appropriate
LAP^PAHAN INK ; i. e., " the place where the tide water comes to
and where it runs off again." Compare with Rappahannock.
LAWUN AK HAN NOK; i. e., " middle stream."
LECHAU HAN NE ; i. e., "the forks occasioned by the confluence
of two streams," as is the case where the Lehigh (Jechaii) falls into
the Delaware. The place where Easton, Pa., now stands, was called
by the Delaware Indians lechau wit auk; i. e., "the town within
LEECH LAKE, MINN. The Indian name for this lake is gah-suh-
gus-gwah-che-ma-kang ; i. e., " the place of leeches."
LE HIGH, or LECH A. Neither of these words is the proper Indian
20 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
name for this river, although the first is generally supposed to be.
The words Icchauweki and lech-au-wicch-ink, or lechauwekink, point
to and are descriptive of a crossing place on the Lehigh river much
used by the Indians in their journeyings to and from the lower parts
of the Delaware.
LEN NI LENAP PE ; i. e., " original, or unmixed men," originally,
perhaps " manly men ;" the name of a very large family of Indians,
in general terms inhabiting the eastern portion of the U. S., from
Maine to South Carolina.
LICKING CREEK, PA., was called by the Indians mahonink ; i. e.,
" the place of the lick."
LITTLE BEAVER CREEK, in Western Penna., was called by the
Indians tankamock-hanne ; i. e., "little beaver stream."
LITTLE BRIAR CREEK, PA., was called by the Indians tanga-
wunseh-hanne ; i. e., "little briar stream."
LITTLE CON EMAUGH, in W. Penna., was called by the Indians
sangi-guna-mochki ; i. e., "little otter creek."
LITTLE MASHAN ON ; tank-imos-hanne ; i. e., " little elk stream;"
the name of a creek in Centre Co,, Pa.
LOA V CHAPO KA, lutcha terrapin, poka killing-place i. e., "the
place where terrapins are killed ; at present the name of a town in
Macon Co., Ala.
LONOT O CREEK, in Ga.; from lonoto flint; i. e., " Flint creek,"
an affluent of Flint river, Ga. This word is the Indian name for
LQOSH TOOK; i. e., "long river;" the name of the principal
river of New Brunswick; better known as St. John s river.
LOYALHAN NA, laweel-hanne ; i. e., " middle stream ;" the name
of a creek in Westmoreland Co., Penna., which, uniting with the
Conemaugh, forms the Kiskiminetas river.
LOY ALSOCK CREEK, LYCOMING Co., PA.; from lawi-saquik ;
i. e., "the creek that empties itself between others," or "middle
LYCOM ING, legaui-hanne ; i. e., "sandy creek," or "sandy
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 21
stream," more properly; the name of a creek in Central Penna.
flowing into the West Branch of the Susquehanna.
MACH EMOOD US, matche-mddose ; i. e., "there is a bad noise,"
or " the place of bad noises ;" the name of a locality in East Had-
MACH HAN NE ; i. e., "the large, or largest stream;" the name
given to the largest of the three streams which unite to form the
MACHIGAM MI ; i. e., "large lake;" the name of a lake in north
MACHIGAM IG, witchi-gaming ; i. e., " large lake," or " large lake
stream;" the name of the stream flowing from Lake Michigammi,
MACKIAPIER, machkkeabi ; i. e., middle water.
MACUN GY, mack-hein schi; i. e., " the harboring, or feeding place
of bears;" at present the name of a township in Lehigh Co., Pa.
MAC OPANACK HAN, muchop-pen-ackhan ; i. e., "the large potato
MAGATANKA MDE; i. e., "swan lake;" the name of a lake in
Nicollet Co., Minn.
MAGOT TY or MAGOTHY, mequkty ; i. e., "a small plain or prai
rie devoid of timber ; " the name of a river in Md.
MAHANOY ; a corruption from mahoni a lick; the name of a
stream in Central Pa.
MAHANTAUGO; from mohantaugo ; i. e., "where we had plenty of
meat to eat;" the name of a stream in Dauphin Co., Pa.
MAHMAN SUCK; i. e., "a place where two streams meet," or pos
sibly " a brook containing two ponds."
MAHON ING, or MAHO NY, mahonink ; i. e., "the place of the
lick," or "at the lick;" the name of a creek emptying into the
Allegheny river in Armstrong Co., Pa.
22 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
MAKA GI ; i. e., " brown earth ;" the name of a western triubu-
tary of the Minn.
MAK A MDE ; i. e., "sunk lake;" the name of a lake in Dakota.
MAK IAP IER, machkiabi ; i. e., "water of a reddish color;" the
name of a pond in N. J.
MAKU A ; i. e., "bear," or " a bear;" the name of a town on
the shore of Lake Michigan.
MAMAR ONECK ; named from Mamaronock, a chief of the Wiqua-
eskeck Indians ; the name of a town in Westchester Co. N. Y.
MAN ADY, or MANADA, menathey ; i. e., "an island;" the name
of a creek in Dauphin county, Pa.
MAN AHAN, menehund ; i. e., "where liquor has been drunk;"
the name of a place in Centre Co., Pa.
MANAL TON, menaltink ; i. e., "at the place where we drank
liquor to excess;" the name of a place in Western Pa.
MAN ATAUCK ; i. e. , a place of observation," a "look-out place;"
the name of a high hill in Waterford, Conn., in full view of L. I.,
MANATAW NY, menhaltanink ; i. e., " where we drank" (liquor);
the name of a creek and town in Berks Co., Pa.
MANHAN NOCK, munnohan-auke ; i. e., "island place;" a section
of Gastonbury, Conn., formerly an island in the Conn, river.
MANHAT TAN, munnohan, or mandates; i. e., "the island."
This word munnohan is a generic term sig. island. New York
island was sometimes spoken of by the Indians as the island.
MANHUMS QUEEG ; i. e., "in the whetstone country;" the name
of a locality in Conn.
MANITOW AH ; i.e., " the spirit bow."
MANKA TO; i. e., "earth blue," or more properly "earth
green ;" the name of a river and town in Minn.
MAN OKIN, msnach-ink ; i. e., "an enclosed place ;" the Indian
name of a river in Md.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 23
MANON IETY, mahonitty ; i. e., "quite small lick."-
MANUS SING, munnohan ; i. e., "an island," or " the island ;"
the name of an island in Long Island Sound, N. Y.
MANAYUNK , mene-iunk ; i. e., "place of rum," or "place of
drinking liquor;" a locality within the present limits of Philad., Pa.
MASGEEK^HAN NE ; i. e., "a stream flowing through swampy
ground;" the name of a stream on Broad Mountain south of
MASHOPE, masch-api ; i. e., "beads of glass;" the name of a
locality in Pike county, Pa., present orthography masthope.
MASSA CHAUG V ; This word is probably derived from muskechoge ;
i. e., " place where rushes grow ; " the name of a pond in R. I.
MAS SAPAUG, MASHAPAUG, MASHPAUG, MASSAPOGUE, MUSSAPOG,
mash or mass great or large, paug water at rest; i. e., "the
great standing water;" occurring frequently as Indian names of
ponds in Conn, and R. I.
MASSACHUSETTS, massa great, adchu mountain, et near, in
the vicinity; i. e., "near the great hill or mountain." It is said
Roger Williams obtained from the Indians the phrase, "the blue
hills," as a definition to this word, which was suggested by the
appearance of an island off the coast.
MAS SAPEAG, MASHPEAG, massa-peauk ; i. e., " great water land,"
or " land on the great cove ; " the name of a locality in Montville,
MASHAMOQ UET, massa-amaug-ut ; i. e., "at the great fishing
place;" at present the name of a brook in Pomfret, Conn.
MAS SAWAM ASOG, massa-womussuk ; i. e., "great declivity,"
"steep hillside or bank." This name is now applied to a brook
and cove west of the Thames river in Montville, Conn.
MATCH ACH PONE; i. e., "bad bread." The English word pone,
a bread made from ground corn, may have been derived from this
Indian word pone.
MATACOM ACOK : i. e., "bad place land," or possibly "where
the path is bad ;" the name of a locality in Windsor Bounds, Conn.
24 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
MATCH ACOMOCA, matachgenimoah ; i. e., "they are counselling
about war/ " a council of war."
MATCHOPUNGO, matschipungo ; i. e., "bad powders," or "bad
ashes" (unfit for baking bread).
MATOMKIN, mattemikin ; i. e., " to enter a house."
MATTAPOI SET ; supposed to be derived from massabeset ; i e., " a
place at a great rivulet or brook ;" the name of a river and town in
MATTAP ONY, mattah-pona ; i. e., "no bread at all to be had;"
the name of a river in the S. E. part of Va.
MAT TAWAKS, meteaukock ; i. e., "the periwinkle;" the Indian
name for Long Island. Here the Indians are said to have obtained
the material for their wampum.
MAT TITUCK ; i. e., "place without wood," or "land not
wooded ;" the name of a village on Long Island.
MAUCH CHUNK , machk bear, tschunk at or near the moun
tain ; i. e., "the bear mountain," or "at, or on the bear moun
tain;" the name of the county seat of Carbon Co., Pa.
MAX ITAW NY, or MAXITAWENY, machkset-hanne ; i. e., "bear s
path stream ;" the name of a creek in Berks Co., Pa.
MAY AIMI ; supposed to be derived from the Creek words, mahi
very large, and uiwa, (guevu) water; i. e., "very large
water;" the name of a lake in Fla.
MVva WAK EN ; i. e., " sacred, or mysterious banks;" the name
of the largest northern tributary of the Minn., more frequently
called the Chippewa river.
MAY LUCK; a corruption from the Indian words namareek-roake,
or namelake derived from name auke ; i. e., "fishing place;" the
name of a small stream in East Windsor, Conn.
MAZOMAN I ; i. e., "walks in metal;" the name of a town in
Wisconsin named after an Indian chief.
MEECH-HANNE; i. e., "main stream;" the name applied by the
Indians to the largest arm of the Lehigh river flowing between
Monroe and Lackawanna counties, Pa.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 25
MENAL TIN, menaltink ; i. e., " the place where we drank liquor
MEN AN, (Grand Menan), munnohan ; i. e., " the island." The
word grand is an English prefix ; the name of an island opposite
Pas samoquoddy Bay.
MENASH A; i. e., "a thorn ;" the name of a town in Winnebago
MENHEE RING, or MENHERRIN, menhattink ; i. e., "on the
island ; " the name of a stream in S. E. Va.
MENUN KETUCK, munnahquohteau ; i. e., "that which fertilizes
or manures land." The word menhaden is supposed to be a corrup
tion of the same word. The word menunhetuck is the Indian name
for Guilford West River, in Conn. From a tradition we learn that
some of the Indian tribes of Conn, residing on the larger streams
used fish, when obtainable, for fertilizing purposes.
MEREY CHA WICK, me the, reckwa sand, ick place, or lo
cality; i. e., "the sandy place;" the Indian name of the place
where Brooklyn, N. Y., now stands. The probability is the name
was first applied to the sandy beach.
MESHOPPEN, from maschapi ; i. e., " glass beads ; " the name of
a stream flowing into the Susquehanna in Wyoming Co., Pa. It is
said the name was given to commemorate a distribution of such
trinkets, as glass beads among the Indians.
MESON GO, or MESON GE, meschaugo, or me s change ; i. e., "where
we killed deer," "good hunting ;" the name of a creek in Md.
MEX ICO; named after Mexitli, the Aztec war-god.
MIAN US; i. e., "he who gathers together." The little river in
Conn, to which this name is now applied, and the neck of land at
its junction with the Coscob cove, were so called from the Indian
proprietor, Mayan no, or Mayen e.
MICH IGAN; i. e., "great water;" the name of one of the largest
lakes in N. A.
MILWAU KEE, me-no-ah-ke ; i. e., "good land;" the name of a
city of Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Michigan.
26 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
MINISENK, mins-ink ; i. e., "the place of the Minsies" or " the
home of the Minsies." The original seat of the Minsi tribe of the
Lenappe Indians was in the upper valleys of the Delaware river.
MIN NAHAUOCK , menahan an island, uck place; i. e., "at the
island," or "the island home." This was the Indian name of
Blackwell s Island near the city of New York.
MIN NECHAUG, minne-adchu-auke ; i. e., "huckleberry hill ;" the
name of a district of Glastonbury, Conn.
MIN NEHA HA, minni water, ihaha to smile; i. e., "smiling
water." This word is usually, but erroneously, translated laugh
ing water. Ha sig. "to curl," and ihaha, to smile. In smiling,
the lip curls. The name of falls in the Miss, river in Minn.
MIN NESO TA, minni water, sofa slightly whitish; i. e.,
"slightly whitish water." This word, however, is usually defined
"clear water." Originally this word was the name of several lakes
in Minn. It is supposed these waters owe their slightly whitish hue
to the presence of carbonate of lime.
MINNI SKA; i. e., "clear water;" the name of a tributary of the
MINNI SNI; i. e., "cold water;" the name of a town in Minn.,
so called from a cold spring near by.
MIS PAU, me the, espau raccoon; i. e., "the raccoon;" the
name of a tributary of the Delaware river.
MIS QUAM ICUK, SQUOM ACUK, mishquamaug; i. e., "a place for
taldng salmon;" the name of a locality in Westerly Township,
R. L, near the mouth of the Pawcatuck river.
MISSINI PI, missi all, whole, entire, nipi water; i. e., "the
whole water;" the name of a river near the sources of the Miss.,
flowing into Hudson s Bay.
MISSISSIPPI, mtsi, or mishi great, sipi river; i. e., "great
river." The foregoing derivation is from the Ojibwa tongue.
Others entitled to much credit say the word comes from me-ze-wa
everywhere, and seebe river; i. e., " the vast or everywhere river."
MISSOU RI ; it is supposed this word comes from minni-shosha
the Dakota name for this river, and sig. " muddy water."
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 27
MITCHAWON ; i. e., "an obstruction," "a. turning back;" the
Indian name for the falls of the Housaton ic river at New Milford,
MENDO TA, mdota ; i. e., "the mouth," or "the mouth of a
river;" the name of the town at the junction of the Minnesota with
the Miss, in Minn.
MOHAWK RIVER ; the Dutch called this river Maquaas river ;
i. e., "muskrat river," and the probability is the present name is
a corruption from the latter word. The historian, Trumbull, how
ever, on the authority of Roger Williams, derives it from the
Indian word moho to eat, and says the word sig. "cannibal
river;" the name of a large river of N. Y. flowing into the Hudson
MOHE GAN, muhhekanneuk ; primarily from maingan a wolf;
the name of a tribe of Indians formerly residing in R. I. and Conn.
MOHUL BUC TISON, mocholpakison ; i. e., "where canoes are aban
doned." The word is said to sig. " the head of navigation."
MON ACAN, from the Delaware word monhacan ; i. e., " a spade,"
or any implement for digging the soil.
MON^TAUK POINT. Probably derived from manati-auke ; i. e.,
"the island country," or "the country of the islanders;" the name
of a promontory on Long Island.
MONTOWES E. This name is derived from Mantowese the
name of an Indian of some local prominence, whose name is a
diminutive of Manito, and sig. "little god." The word is now
the name of a railroad stat. and P. O. in East Haven, Conn.
MONOCRACY, or MONOCKISY, menagassi ; i. e., " stream containing
many large bends;" the name of a river in Md. flowing into the
Potomac ; also the name of a creek in Butler and Northampton
MONON^GAHE LA, menaungihella ; i. e., " high banks breaking off
in some places and tumbling down ;" the name of a river in south
MUNCY, MONSEY, minsink or menesink ; i. e., "habitation of the
Minsi tribe," or the place of the Minsi;" the name of a creek in
Lycoming Co., Pa.
28 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
MOOSE LEM or MOSELEM CREEK, maschil-amek-hanne ; i. e.,
" trout stream ;" the name of a creek in Berks Co., Pa.
MOOSHAN NE, MOSHANNIE, or MQSHANNON ; i. e., " elk stream;"
the name of a creek in Centre Co., Pa.
MOOS UP ; so called from Maussup, the name of a chief of the
Narraganett Indians ; the name of a river in Conn.
MOUNT MARCY, NEW YORK, was called by the Indians ta-ha-was ;
i. e., " he splits the sky."
MOUNT TOBY, MASS., was called by the Indians Quunk-wat-chu ;
i. e., " high mountain."
MOY^AMEN SING, mo the, sowhamen maize, ink place; i. e.,
" the place for maize," or " the maize land ;" the name of a dis
trict within the limits of Philada., Pa.
MUDDY CREEK, in York Co., Pa., is said to have been called by
the Indians achsees-pagkoh ; i. e., "muddy water."
MUN NOMIN; i. e., "rice ;" the name of a locality in Mich.
MUSCONET CONG, MUSCON ECON, mask-hann-cunk ; i. e., "rapid
running stream ;" the name of a river in the northern part of N.
]., flowing into the Delaware below Easton, Pa.
MUSCO DA, mus-co-da ; i. e., "a prairie;" the name of a town
on the Wisconsin river, Wisconsin.
MUSKING UM, or MOOSKING UM ; i. e., "Elk s eyes." The Dela-
wares when they took possession of the country west of the Ohio
river found it abounding in elk or deer, so tame they could be ap
proached near enough to see their eyes; whence the name; the
name of a river in Ohio.
MYS TIC, missi great, tuk or ittuk stream; i. e., "the great
stream;" the name of the principal river flowing into Boston bay.
Tuk or ittuk is more especially the name of a stream whose waters
are driven in waves by tides or winds.
NAN SEMOND, or NAN SAMOND, nauns-chim-end ; i. e., "from
whence we fled," "from whence we were driven ofT;" the name of
a county in Va.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 29
NAN TICOKES; i. e., "tide water people;" the name of a tribe
of Indians who, when first known to the English, had their seat on
the eastern shore of Maryland. They were, however, of Inquoi
origin, and finally joined the Five Nations in New York, making
the Six Nations.
NANTIHALAH ; i. e., "maiden s bosom;" the name of a river
in Macon, co., N. C.
NAR RAGAN SET, acawmen-oake, and with tuk it forms acawen-tuk;
i. e., " other side river." Others say this word is a corruption of
naiaganset and sig. "at or about the point."
NATCH EZ, naksh-asi ; i. e., "a hurrying man," "one running
as to war." The name formerly belonged to a tribe of Indians
that settled where Natchez now stands, about the beginning of the
eighteenth century. It is the opinion of some that this word is de
rived from naksika aside, away from, owing to the site of their
village, which was away from the "great water road," the Miss.
NAUB UC; said to be a corruption of dupatik, and to sig.
"flooded" or "overflowed;" the name of a village in Conn.
NAU GATUCK . This word is said to be derived from nequt-tugk,
and to sig. "one tree." The word is now the name of a small
river in Conn. The probability is the tree, which perhaps stood
on its banks, was of great note or interest.
NAWBESET UCK ; a corruption of nuppeeit-ohke ; i. e., "land at
the pond ;" the name of a locality in Mansfield, Conn.
NAYAUG, naiag ; i. e., "the point," or "the corner;" the name
of a point at the junction of Roaring Brook and the Conn, river,
in Glastonbury, Conn.
NEBRAS KA; i. e., "flat or broad water;" from the Omaha or
NEMATTAN O, nimmattima; i. e., "our brother."
NEP AUG ; supposed to be a corruption of either nunnepaug fish
pond, or wunnepaug good pond; the name, at present, of a vil
lage in Conn.
NES COPECK, or NES COPEC, naesk-choppek ; " blackish colored and
30 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
deep still water;" the name of a creek in eastern Penn., flowing
into the North Branch of the Susquehanna.
NESHAM INY, nischam-hanne ; i. e., two streams making one by
flowing together;" the name of a creek in Bucks Co., Pa.
NESHAN NOCK, neshannok ; i. e., " two adjoining streams ;" the
name of a creek in Lawrence Co., Pa.
NESHO BA, or NASHO BA, neshoba ; i. e., "gray wolf;" the name
of a tributary of the Yazoo river in Miss.
NES QUEHON ING, naska-honi ; i. e., "black lick," or "a lick
the waters of which have a blackish color ;" the name of creek in
Carbon Co., Pa.
NIAG ARA, o-ne-aw-ga -ra ; i. e., " the neck." The term is derived
from an Iriquoi word for the human neck, and was applied to the
entire Niagara. river, which connects Lake Erie with Lake Ontario,
as the human neck connects the head with the body. It is said on
good authority that this word is not the Indian name for the
great falls. These falls were called by the Senecas date-car-sko-
sasa; i. e., ".the highest falls."
NIAN TIC ; said to sig. "at a point of land on a tidal river." The
name occurs several times in Conn.
NIOBRA RA, ni water, obrara broad or large; i. e., "the broad
or large water ;" the name of a river in Neb.
NIP PENOSE, nipenowi ; i. e., " like unto the summer;" a warm
situation "where the cold does not penetrate;" the name of a re
markable valley in Lycoming Co., Pa.; also the name of a creek in
the same Co.
NIP PISSING\ nippe water, or still water, ing or ink place ; i. e.,
"the place of still water." The name seems more particularly to
apply to a wide place in a river where the current slackens. Possi
bly Nipissing Lake, in Canada West, may derive its name from the
NIP SIC, NIP SUCK, nips a pool, auke place; i.e., " the place
of a pool;" a location in Glastonbury, Conn., so named from a
magnificent spring of water which here bursts forth.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 3!
NIS OPACK, neeshapaug , i. e., " two ponds;" a name frequently
occurring in Conn.
NOCK AMIX ON, nochanixink ; i. e., "at the three houses ;" the
name of a township in Bucks Co., Pa.
NOLAMAT TINK ; i. e., "the silk worm place," or "the silk-worm
land;" the name of a tract of land in Northampton Co., Pa.,
which formerly abounded in mulberry trees.
NOR WALK ; the word is supposed to be derived from nayaug
a point of land ; the name of a river in Conn.
OAK SIS OKIE, OAKSUS KIE, woakassisku ; i. e., " winding, marshy
ground," "winding boggy swamp."
OANAN COCK or ONAN COCK, auwannaku ; i. e., " foggy place;"
the name of a town in Accomac Co., Va.
OB SCOB: This word means either "at the white rock," or "at
the narrow passage of the rocks;" the name of a village in Conn.,
near the mouth of Oyster river.
OC CAPOGUE, accup a creek ; the name of a stream on Long
OC^COHAN NOCK, woak-hanne ; i. e., "crooked, winding stream,"
" a stream with large bends ;" the Indian name of a stream in Va.
OC COQUAN, okhucquoan, woakhucquon, or huckquoan ; i. e., "a
hook," or " anything bent to the form of a hook." Some say the
word is derived from shacqohocan a stone, and means "stony
creek." This, however, is very doubtful. The word is the name
of a stream in Prince William s Co., Va.
OCE YEDAN, or ACEYEDAN ; i. e., "place of weeping." So called
by the Dakotas because of weeping there the death of some of their
relatives ; the name of a creek in Iowa which flows into the Little
OCHISHAT CHEE ; i. e., " hickory leaf river."
OCKLOCKO NEE ; i. e., " yellow water ;" the name of a river in
32 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
OCK LOWAHA ; i. e., " muddy, or miry place."
OCMUL GEE or OKMUL GI, oki water, mulgis it is boiling; i. e.,
"boiling water;" the name of a river in Ga.
OHI O, ohui very, opeek white with froth, hanne stream; i. e.,
" the stream very white with froth," or " the stream abounding in
white caps." The foregoing definition is given by Revd. John
Heckewelder. Revd. Christian Fred Post, also a missionary among
the Indians, and who lived with the Senecas for many years says
this word is derived from ohee-ye-ga-hun-da, and sig. "good river,"
or "beautiful river." This definition being identical with the
name given the Ohio by the French, I am inclined to believe Mr.
Post merely took the French name and translated it into Indian,
thinking it a French translation from the Indian language. Cer
tainly Mr. Heckewelder, who was perfectly familiar with the
Delaware language, and who resided with the Indians many years
on the banks of this stream could not be mistaken. Doubtless the
mineral oils which are now so important an item of trade in West
ern Penna., were then finding their way to the surface of the earth
and floating on the fair bosom of the Ohio, liable at any moment
to be blown into white caps by southwesterly winds.
OHI OPYLE or OHIOPLE, ohiopihelle \ i. e., "white froth upon the
water;" the name of a cataract on the Youghiogheny River in
Fayette Co., Pa.
O KECHO BEE, or OKITCHO BI; i, e., "large water;" the name of
a lake in the southern part of Florida.
O KI ; the generic term for water in the Creek language, also in
the Seminole language which is essentially the same as the Creek.
The word very frequently, as a suffix, takes the form okee, kee or
O KIFENO KEE; i. e., " weaving, shaking water;" the name of
an extensive swamp in Ga.
OK LOKON EE, OCK LOCKON NEE, oki water, lakni yellow; i. e.,
"yellow water;" the name of a river in Ga.
OKO NI, or OCO NEE, ekuoni ; i. e., "great, large water;" the
name of a river in Ga.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 33
O LEY, olink, wahlink, olo, wahlo ; i. e., "a cavern or cell,"
also "a. tract of land encompassed by hills;" now the name of a
township in Berks Co., Pa.
O MAHA; from the Dakota language and sig. "up stream;" the
name of a city in Neb.
ONEYAGI NE, oneya ; i. e., "a stone;" the Indian name of Stone
Creek, Schoharie Co., N. Y.
ONONDA GA; i. e., "a. swamp at the foot of a hill;" the name
of a shallow lake in the state of New York.
ONTA RIO ; This word is from the Wyandot language, and is
supposed to mean " how beautiful is the hill or rock standing in
the water." It is thought to have been first applied to some spot
near Kingston, where the Wyandots resided many years. The
Mohawks and their confederates generally called this lake cad-ar-
acqui. The term Ontario, however, being more euphonious, was
finally applied by Europeans to the entire lake. Others say this
word is derived from the Mohawk word ska-no-da-rio, and sig.
"beautiful lake." I incline to the latter opinion.
ONTON AGON, nin-do-nau-gon ; i. e., "my dish." This name is
said to have been derived in the following somewhat singular man
ner : At the mouth of this river, which flows into Lake Superior,
there is a small bay and dead water. Into and out of this bay the
water of the lake alternately flows, according to the direction ot
the wind and perhaps other causes. On one occasion an Indian
woman had left her wooden dish or onagon, on the sands of the
shore where she had been employed, to find it, upon her return,
carried away by the swelling tide. Nai nin do nau gon ! she ex
claimed. That is to say: Alas ! my dish.
OPEEHAN EANAUGH\ opeek-hanne ; i. e., "stream of whitish
OPELI KA, opilua swamp, laikata to be stretched out; i. e.,
"large swamp," or " great swamp ;" at present the name of a town
in Russell county, Ala.
OPELOU SAS, OPELU SA. This word is said to mean " black leg
gings or moccasins ;" the name of a town in La.
34 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
OP ICON, or OP QUAN, opeekhan ; i. e., "a stream of a whitish
color;" the name of a stream in Va., flowing into the Potomac.
OPIL LAKO, opilua swamp, lako large; i. e., "large swamp;"
the name of a stream flowing into Flint river, Ga.
OPILOUS S^S, OQUELOUS SAS; i. e., " black water."
ORINO CO; said to mean "coiled serpent;" the name of one of
the largest rivers in South America.
OSTANAU LA, or ESTAN ULA; i. e., " the place of overtaking."
OSWE YA CREEK, utschija; i. e., "place of flies;" the name of
a tributary of the Allegheny river in McKean county, Pa.
OT TAWA, ah-tah-way] i. e., "a trader," or "he trades;" the
name of a river in Canada.
OUHE GEE, ahiki ; i. e., "to look up stream."
OWOB OP TA ; i. e., " where they dig roots ;" the name of one of
the largest northern tributaries of the Minnesota, called by the
French Pomme de Terra, and by the Dakotas Teepsinna, which
words are the names in those languages of the roots dug there for
OWOTAN NA WAK PA ; i. e., " straight river;" the name of a trib
utary of the Cannon river in Minn., commonly written owaton na.
OXOBOX O, OXYBOX Y, ogusse-paug small pond, suck outlet ; i.
e., "the brook which flows out of the small pond ;" the name of a
small stream near Montville, Conn.
PACH AUG, flat/iatt-au&e ; i. e., "a turning place;" the name of
a river in Conn.
PAHAWAK AN; i. e., " the sacred hills," or "the sacred round-
topped hills." This name is applied to several high^mound-like
hills in Dakota, called also medicine hills.
PAINT CREEK, IN Cambria Co., Pa., was called by the Delawares
wallamink ; i. e., " where there is paint."
PA JUTAZEE; i. e., "yellow root;" the name of a western branch
of the Minn., often called " Yellow Medicine."
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 35
PAKIO MA; i. e., " where the cranberries grow."
ink, or paki omink ; i. e., " at the cranberry
PALATKA or PILATKA ; i. e., "spilled," "thrown down;" the
name of a town in Fla., on the St. John s river.
PAMUN KY \pihmunga; i. e., "where we were sweating," or "in*
the sweat-house where we sweated ;" the name of a stream in Va^
PAS CAGOU LA, paska bread, ogoulas, from ok/a nation; i. e.,
" bread nation." The name was first applied to a tribe of Indians
who settled near Mobile ; the name of a river in the S. E. part of
PASSA IC, passajeek ; i. e., "a valley;" the name seems to refe
rather to the country through which the river flows than to the river
itself; the name of a river of N. J.
PASSAMAQUOD DY. This word has been variously translated. In
1828, Revd. Elijah Killroy gave as its meaning "pollock fish," and
Revd. Mr. Rara translates peshemoo-kwoddy as "pollock ground;"
the name of a bay at the S. E. extremity of Maine.
A.iAT?s co,patapsqut ; i. e., "back water," or " tide water con
taining froth," or "a long deep stretch in a stream caused by back
or tide water containing froth ;" the name of the river upon which
the city of Baltimore stands.
PATCHOG UE, (pathdg 1 ,} pauochauog ; i. e., "the place where they
gamble and dance;" a town of Suffolk Co., N. Y., near the south
ern shore of Long Island.
PATKASK ADEN ; i. e., " the tortoise or turtle;" the name of a
western tributary of the Dakota.
PAT TAQUONK; i. e., "round place," meaning an Indian s wig
wam or sweating-house, or possibly only " round hill." At pres
ent the name of a hill near Saybrook, Conn.
PATUXENT or PATUXET ; from the same root as Pawtuxent, which
see ; the name of a river in Md.
PAUPON AMING, papennamink; i. e., "at the place where we were
36 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
PAU TIKAUG. This word is supposed to sig. "boggy meadows,"
" miry land ;" the name of a district in Conn.
PAWAT ING was the Chippewa name for the falls of Sault St. Marie,
and means " the falls," or "at the place of the noise."
PAWHATAN , or PAWATAN , pauat-hanne ; i. e., at or near the
falls of the stream." From the falls of the James river, near where
Richmond now stands, named as above, Capt. John Smith says the
great king Powhatan took his name.
PAWTUCK ET; i. e., "the falls," or " at the falls;" the name of
a river of Rhode Island having on it a fall of 50 ft., from which it
is supposed it took its name. Above this fall the river takes the
name of the Black Stone, and below the fall, the Seekonk.
PAWTUX ET, or PAUTUXKT ; i. e., "at the little falls ;" the name
of a river in Rhode Island abounding in valuable mill-seats.
PAX TON, peeks- tunk ; i. e., " place of standing or dead water;"
the name of a creek in Dauphin Co., Pa.
PEGU MOCK, peek-hanne : i. e., "dark stream;" the name of a
creek in N. J.
PEM APACK ; supposed to be derived from pemmapecka, which
PEMMAPKCK A, A 1 ^ 7 /^ / i- e., "a pond, lake or bog," or "water
not having a current."
PEN NEPACK ; supposed to be a corruption of Pemmapecka, which
see; the name of a creek in Philad. Co., Pa., flowing into the Dela
PENOB SCOT, panaooa-bskek, or pe-noom-ske-ook : i. e., "at the
falls of the rock," or " at the descending rock." The name was
originally applied by the Knglish to a locality on the river, and
probably the Indian name of the river is lost. The word seems to
have been the Indian name of Old Town Falls, a village en the
river. It would seem a better corruption of the Indian name would
be Penobscook ; the name of one of the largest rivers in Me.
PENSACO LA, pan-sha-okla ; a Choctaw word sig. " hair people ;"
at present the name of a city and bay in Fia.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 37
PEQUAB UCK, supposed to mean " clear or open pond ;" the name
of a river in Conn. The name was doubtless transferred from the
pond at its source.
PEQTJAN NOCK ; i. e., "a clearing," or " cleared land ;" the name
of a town in Morris Co., X. J.
PEOUOD, or PEQUOT, pcquttoog, or paquatauog ; i. e., " the de
stroyers ;" the name of a warlike tribe of Indians that formerly in
habited New England.
PER KIO MEN, pakihm-ink ; i. e., "cranberry-place;" the name
of a creek in Montgomery Co., Penna.
PESCAT TAWAY, wapees white, kowat or quaat a pine tree, or
the place of the pine tree; i. e., "the place of the white pine
tree;" the name of a town in Middlesex Co., X. J.
PEWAK PA; i. e.. "Elm river;" the name of a western branch
of the Dakota river.
PICCOWAX EN, pixuwaxen ; i. e., "torn shoes;" the name of a
creek in Md.
PINE CREEK, in Penna. was called by the Indians cuwen-hanne ;
i. e., "the stream that flows through pine trees," or "Pine Creek."
PISCAS SET, wapees white, asstn, or quassin a stone; i. e..,
" white stone ; " the name of a stream in Me.
PISCAT AWAY, pisgattauwi ; i. e., "it is darkening," " growiiug
dark ;" the name of a river in Prince George s Co., Md.
PIS TEPAUG, pishaggua-paug ; i. e, "muddy or miry pool."
This name has been transferred to a mountain in Conn. Doubt
less originally the name of a lake or pool in the vicinity.
PITTSKURG, PA. This place was called by the Indians, after its
occupation by the French, menachk-sink ; i. e., "where there is a
fence," "an enclosure," in allusion to the fortifications.
PLAY WICKY, phieuwikcchtit ; i. e., "the habitation of those of
the turkey tribe."
PLUMB CR. in W. Penna. was called by the Indians spuas-hanne, or
spuas-ink ; i. e., " plumb stream," or "at the place of the plumbs."
POCAS SET; i. e., the place "where a strait widens out ;" the
38 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
name of a village in Mass. This name occurs frequently in New
PO CHAUG, pohshaog; i. e., where they divide" in two; the
place where the Pochaug and Manunkateset rivers meet in Conn.
POCHOUGOULA; i. e., "pond lily people ;" the name originally
of a tribe of Natchez Indians.
PO COHAN TAS, or PO CAHON TAS, pockohantes ; i. e., "streamlet
between two hills;" compounded of pochko a rocky hill, and
hanne stream ; the latter root rendered a diminutive by the suffix
tes. The Princess Pocahontas doubtless derived her name from
this stream ; at present the name of a town in S. W. Va.
WcQUQ-KEtpockhammokik; i. e., "knobby," "broken by knobs
and hills ;" the name of a river in Md.
PO CONO, or PO KONO, poko-hanne ; i. e., "a stream issuing from
a mountain," or "running between two mountains." The Broad
Mountain, south of Scranton, Pa., receives its name of Pdcono
from a stream of the same name contiguous thereto.
POCO SEN, or POCCOS EN. This word is supposed to be derived
from pduck-assin ; i. e., "a place where balls, bullets or lead was
to be had ;" the name of a river in Va.
POCOTO PAUG, pohqutae-paug ; i. e., "divided pond;" the name
of a large pond in Chatham, Conn., nearly divided in two parts,
connected only by a short and narrow strait.
PO HOP OKA, pockhapocka; i. e., "two mountains butting with
their ends against each other, with a stream of water between," as
in the case of the Lehigh Water Gap ; now the name of a stream in
Carbon county, Pa., flowing into the Lehigh river.
POKETO, pack gita : i. e., "throw it away," "abandon it," the
name of a creek in Allegheny county, Pa.
PO^KOMO KA, pocqueumoke ; i. e., "place of shell fish;" the In
dian name of a river in Md.
POM V PERUNG , POMPERAUG ; this word probably means " place of
offering," or " place of contributing ;" now the name of a river in
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 39
POMPTON, pihmton;; i. e., " crooked mouthed ; "the name of a
small river in N. J.
PONTOOSUC, powntuk-suck ; i. e., " falls on the brook." A hill
in Glastonbury, Conn., now bears this name.
POPOCATEPETL, i. e., "smoking mountain," or " the hill that
smokes ;" the name of a noted volcano of Mexico.
POPON OMING, papennamink ; i. e., "where we are gazing;" the
name of a small lake in Monroe Co., Pa.
POQUES SON, or POQUISSING, poques-ink ; i. e., "at the place
abounding in mice ;" the name of a creek in Bucks Co., Pa.
POQUON OCK, or POQUONNOC; i. e., " cleared land ;" the name
of a village near Farmington river, Conn.
POQUETAN NOC ; i. e., "land opened or broken up," "land
ready for planting;" the name of a town in Conn.
PORT TOBACCO, pootuppag; i. e., "a bay, or cove;" the name
of an inlet on the Potomac river in Md.
POTICH, poduch, or poftuck ; i. e., "round;" the name of one of
the plains in Catskill Co., N. Y.
POTO MAC, potowmak, or petahmok ; i. e., "they are coming by
water;" "drawing near in crafts or canoes;" the name of a large
river forming the boundary line between Md. and Va.
PSIM MDSE ; i. e., "rice lake;" the name of several lakes in Minn,
so called from the wild rice growing on their banks.
PTANSIN TA; i. e., "otter tail;" the name of a peninsula between
Lac Traverse and the Minn, river, so called from its resemblance
to that organ.
PTANS KA ; i. e., "white otter;" the name of a lake in Iowa.
PUCK AWAY; i. e., "cat-tail flag;" the name of a lake in Wis.,
an expansion of the Neenah River.
PUCKIS TA, pachgisa ; i. e., "throw it away," " abandon it."
PUNGOTE QUE, or PUNGOTEA QUE, punghatteke ; i. e., "the place
of powder. " In the Delaware language the word pung sig. powder,
also ashes, dust and fine sand. Owing to the extremely sandy
40 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
character of the country, it is highly probable the Indians in this
case intended the word to sig. not the place of powder, but rather
the place of fine sand or dust ; the name of a town and island in
Accomac Co., Va.
PUNXUTAW NEY, PONKSUTENEY ; i. e., "habitation of sand-
flies;" the name of a town in Jefferson Co., Pa.
PY MATU ING, pihmtomink ; i. e., "the crooked-mouthed man s
dwelling place," or "the dwelling place of the man with the
crooked mouth;" the name of a tributary of the Chenango river
in Mercer Co., Pa.
QUAD DIC ; a corruption Qi patta-quottuck ; i. e., "at the round
place on the tide water ;" the name of a village in Conn.
QUAKEKE, cuwenkeek, or kuwenkeek; i. e., "pine lands;" the
name of a creek in Carbon Co., Pa.
QUANTICO. If this is the same as Guentico, gentican, it mean,s
"dancing," "place of frolicking ;" the name of a town in-Md.
QUASSA ICK, quassuck a rock, ink place; i. e., "the place of
the rock;" the Indian name of Newburgh, N. Y. The location
of the town on a high rocky bluff justifies the name.
QUEBEC, kebic ; i. e.; " the fearful rocky cliff." Some say this
word was derived from the French phrase Quel bee what a beak !
Others say it was imported by the French from Brittany.
QUEMAHONING, cuwei-mahotii ; i. e., "pine tree lick;" the
name of a branch of the Conemaugh, in Somerset Co., Pa.
QUEN ISCH-ACHACH-GEK-HAN NE or QUENISCHASCH AC KI ; i. e.,
" the long reach river," or " the long way straight river ;" the In
dian name for the West Branch of the Susquehanna, Revd. John
Heckewelder says the word SUSQUEHANNA is a corruption of this
word, and that this name was applied to the entire stream by the
Delawares. The name was suggested by the long straight stretch
in the West Branch west of Williamsport.
QUENISCH-ACHACH -KI ; "a long way straight." This was the
Indian name for the "Long Reach" in the West Branch of the
Susquehanna above Williamsport, Pa.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 4!
QUEPON CO, cuwenponga ; i. e., "ashes of pine woods;" the
name of a creek in Md.
QUID NIC, aqueednuk. This word means either " the place at
the end of the hill;" or " the place beyond the hill ;" the name at
present of a small river in R. I.
QUILUTAM END ; i. e., "we came upon them unawares;" the
name of a spot in Luzerne Co., Pa., lying between the Susquehanna
river and a mountain, where the Delawaressay they surprised a body
of Indians of the Five Nations and defeated them.
QUIN AMOGUE. This word is supposed to be a corruption of
quinri -amaug ; \. e., "long fish place," or the place where lam
preys (long fish) are taken ; the name of a locality near Charles-
town, R. I.
QUING QUIN GUS, quin-quin&iis ; i. e., " duck and mullet."
QUITOPAHIE TA or QUITOPOHEL LA, cuispehelle, or cuwispehella;
" a spring that issues out of the earth where there are pine trees
standing ;" the name of a stream in Lebanon Co., Pa.
RACCOON CREEK, in W. Penna. was called by the Indians nache-
num-hanne ; i. e., "raccoon stream."
RAPPAHAN NOCK, lappihanne ; i. e., "the current Ins returned
or flowed again;" or where the tide water flows and ebbs ; the
name of a stream in Va.
RED STONE CREEK, in W. Penna. was called by the Indians mach-
kach-sin-hanne ; i. e., "red stone stream."
RESTIGOUCHE, (res -tef-god-shd}; i. e., " the river which divides
like the hand;" the name of a river in British America forming
the northern boundary of N. B., so called because a short distance
above its point of discharge into the Bay of Chaleur it divides like
the hand into five branches.
ROCK AWAY ; supposed to be derived from reckaivackes, or acke-
wek ; i. e., "bushy," or "difficult to cross ;" the name of a river
in N. J.
42 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
ROM OPACK ; Possibly this word is derived from wulumipeek "a
round pond or lake of fine white colored water.
SA CO, sauk-sagook ; i. e., pouring out." The root sig. the
place of discharge or pouring out of a river or lake ; the name of a
river in Maine.
SAG INAW RIVER, sauk-sahcoon ; i. e., "at the mouth," or
"pouring out at the mouth." The Saginaw river discharges
through Saginaw bay into Lake Huron ; the bay forming the place
where the river pours out into the lake. Very probably the bay
gave name to the river; that is, the Europeans gave the same name
to the river which they found attached to the bay ; the name of a
river in Michigan.
SALT LICK CREEK, in W. Penna. was called by the Indians
sikhewt-md-honi, or sik-hei-hanne ; i. e., "salt lick stream," or "a
stream flowing from a salt lick."
SANDY LICK is a translation from segauwi-mahoni, the name of a
stream in Venango Co., Pa.
SANKIN AK, or SANKIN ACK, sank-hanne ; i. e., "flint stone
stream ;" the name of a stream in Penna.
SARATO GA, seitake : i. e., " on the heel;" the name of a lake in
N. Y. A very good authority asserts that the sig. of this word is
SAS CO ; supposed to mean " marshy land," or "swamp;" the
name of a creek in Westport, Conn.
SASKATCHEWAN ; i. e., "the swift current;" the name of a
river in Manitoba , B. A.
SAS SAFRAS river is a translation from winak-hanne. The stream
to which the name applies is in the N. E. part of Md.
SAU CON, or SACON NA, sacunk ; i. e., " the outlet ;" the name of
a creek in Northampton Co., Pa.
SAU GATUCK ; see Sawahquat ock ; the name of a small river in
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 43
SAU KUNK; i. e., "at the mouth;" that is at the mouth of the
Big Beaver river where it flows into the Ohio. This spot was a
well known rendezvous for Indian war parties.
SAWAHQUATOCK, SAWKATUCKET, or SAQUATUCKET, sauke-tiik; i. e.,
"at the mouth of the tidal stream."
SCAN TIC; supposed to be derived from pe skatnk ; i. e., " where
the river branches ;" the name of a river and town in Conn.
SCHAKAMAX ENS, or SHACKAMAX ON, schach-ame-sink ; i. e., "the
place of eels :" the name of a locality near Kensington, Philad.
SCHENEC TADY j i. e., " over or beyond the pines;" the name of
a town on the Mohawk river, N. Y. In early colonial times there
was a portage from Fort Orange, or Albany on the Hudson, across
the peninsula formed by the Hudson and Mohawk to this point,
Schenectady, which led through pine forests : whence the name.
Others say this word is derived from ska-ncli-fa-de, and sig. " be
yond the openings."
SCHO HACAN INK ; i. e.< " the place of glue ;" or " where glue is
SCHOHA RIE CREEK, sko-har-Ie float wood ; the name of a creek
in a county of the same name in N. Y.
SCHOHO LA, or SHOHO LA, schauwihilla; i. e., "weak," " faint,"
"distressed;" the name of a creek in Pike Co., Pa.
SCHUYL KILL, ganshowe-hanne ; i. e., "the roaring stream;" the
name of a river in E. Penna. Others say the word is of Dutch or
igin and sig. " the hidden stream." For this dif. see the author s
work on local names in general.
SCIT ICO; i. e., "at the branch;" the name of a locality in
Conn., on the Scantic river.
SEBETH E ; supposed to be derived from sepoese " small river ;"
the name of a river in Middletown, Conn.
SEM IXOLE, isti-simanole ; i. e., "separatist," or "runaway;"
the]name given to those who separated, or ran away from the Creeks.
Albert Gallatin says the word sig. " wild men," because they sub
sisted largely by hunting and fishing, while the Creeks generally
were engaged in agriculture and subsisted largely by it.
44 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
SENE GAR, sinnikc ; i. e., "stony;" the name of a creek in Md.
(Sinne-hanne stony stream.)
SEN EGAR FALLS, was called by the Indians sinne-pchelle ; i. e.,
"water rushing over stones."
SENSIN IK, assin a stone, ick place ; i. e., " the place of the
stone," or perhaps more properly " the stony place ;" the name of
a locality in Westchester Co., N. Y.
SERECH EN, silehend, or sinue-hund ; i. e., "where they milk."
SHAK OPEE ; i. e., " six ;" the name of a town on the Minnesota
river, called after a chief of that name who formerly dwelt there.
SHAMO KIN, schahamoki, or schahamo-kink ; i. e., "the place of
eels;" the name of the spot where Sunbury, Pa., now stands; also
the name of a creek flowing into the Susquehanna at Sunbury.
SHAMUNK, wschummonk ; i. e., " a place of a horn."
SHAN NOCK, shawwunk ; the " place where two streams meet ;"
the name of a river in North Stonington, Conn., formed by a union
of the Assekonk and Phelps s creeks, in Milltown village.
SHAN TUCK ; supposed to be derived from mishuntugket ; i. e.,
" the place of much wood," a location near Montville Conn.
SHAN TITUCK. ; i. e., " the woody place ;" the name of a small
stream in R. I.
SHAWNEES , shawenu ; i. e., "the southern people." This word
is derived from the Lenappe language. The word Showan or
Chowan the name of a river in N. C., possibly comes from the
SHEBOY GAN, showbwa-way-gum ; i. e., "the river that comes
out of the ground ;" the name of a river in Wisconsin.
SHEN ANDO AH, schind-han-dowi ; " the sprucy stream," or " the
stream passing by or through spruce pines." There is another de
finition to this word derived from ononda a mountain, and goa
great, and sig. a river flowing alongside of high hills or mountains.
These latter roots are of Iriquoi origin, and as there is no evidence
that the Iriquoi Indians ever inhabited the banks of this stream, or
even visited the region it traverses, very often, it is not likely they
are the origin of the word.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 45
SHEPAUG , shippaug ; i. e., "great pond." This river rises in a
pond in Conn., known as great pond, and doubtless the Indian
name of the pond has been transferred to the river.
SHICAWAK PA ; i. e., " bad river ;" called also Teton, and Little
Missouri river ; the name of a river in Arkansas.
SHIN TAKA; i. e., "tamarack;" the name of several marshes in
Minnesota. So named on account of the tamarack growing spon
taneously in them.
SHIP PAUG; i. e., "great pond;" said to have been the Indian
name of Litchfield Pond in Connecticut.
SHKOT PA ; i. e., "hollow," or "blow;. " the name of a lake in
Minnesota, now called White Bear Lake.
SHOHO KIN, schohacan, i. e., "glue;" the name of a stream in
Wayne Co., Pa.
SHOHOLA ; from schauwihilla ; i. e.. "weak," "faint," "de
pressed;" the name of a stream in Pike Co., Pa.
SHUM MOCK; i. e., "the place of -the horn."
SINNEMAHO NING, achsinnimahoni ; i.e., "stony lick," or "the
place of the stony lick;" the name of a stream in Cameron Co.,
SISSOWKIS SINK, shilmwen a duck, ugissit black, ink place, or
locality; i. e., " the place of the black duck," the name of a creek
on the west side of the Delaware river in Penna.
SKANEAT ARES ; i. e., "long lake."
SKIP PACK, schkipuk ; i. e., "stinking pool of water;" the name
of a creek in Montgomery Co., Pa.
SLIPPERY ROCK, a translation from wesch-ach-ach-apuch-ka ; the
name of a creek in W. Penna.
Sooo, sa-iika ; i. e., "rattle," " gourd rattle."
STONY CREEK in Somerset Co., Pa., was called by the Indians
sinne -hanne ; i. e., "stony stream."
SUPERIOR LAKE was called by the Indians gitch-igomee ; i. e.,
" big sea water."
46 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
SUSPECOUGH ; supposed to mean " muddy, dirty water;" the
name of a creek in N. J.
SUWA NEE ; supposed to be derived from the Creek word sawani
echo, and sig. "echo river;" the name of a river in Florida ;
also the name of a town and creek in the northern part of Georgia.
TACON IC; supposed to mean forest," or " wilderness;" the
name of a mountain range in Mass., west of the Housatonic River.
TAL LADE GA, italua town, atigi at the end, on the border;
i. e., "the border town," or "the town on the frontier;" the name
of a village in Talladega Co., Alabama. I cannot say that the
name was first applied to this spot, but very probably it was not.
TAL LAHAS SEE, italua town or nation, hassi old; i. e., "old
nation," "old town," "waste place," "vacated;" the name of
the Capital of Florida.
TAL LAPOO SA; supposed to be derived from the Creek talepu" 1 la ,
i. e., "stranger," "newcomer," alluding to the arrival of other
Indian tribes, or a tribe; the name of a river of Ga.
TAMA QUA, tamaque-hanne ; i. e., "beaver stream;" the name of
a creek in Schuylkill Co., Pa.
TAM PA, itimpi ; i. e., "close to it," "near it;" the name of a
bay on the west coast of the peninsula of Fla.; named by De Soto,
TAN GIPAHA ; the name of a river in the S. . part of La.; named
after an Indian tribe, and sig. "those who gather maize stalks."
TAXGOMOCK ONOMIN GO, tangamochkomennunga ; i. e., "the bark
for the medicine."
TANKHAN NA, or TANKHAN NE; i. e., "the smaller stream;" the
name of a creek in E. Penna.
TAP PAN, thoppek-hanne ; i. e. , "cold stream;" the name is now
applied to an expansion of the Hudson River between Rockland
and Westchester counties, N. Y. Probably a stream flowing into
this lake has given to it its present name.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 47
TAT NICK; supposed to be a corruption of Kt-adene-k; i. e.,
"at the great hill;" the name of a hill and brook in Worcester
TAUNTON ; supposed to be derived from tetiquet or zeticut. The
sig. of these roots, however, seem to be lost, and I give the word
with its roots merely to show how completely many Indian words
have been disguised by phonetic changes, or corruption ; the name
of a river in Mass.
TELMOCRES SES, talua-mutchasi ; i.e., "new town;" the name
of an Indian town on the west side of the Chattahoochee River.
TEMEGAM E; i. e., "deep lake;" the name of a lake that dis
charges its waters into the Ottawa River, Canada.
TE TON ; i. e., "dwellers on the prairie ; " the name of a clan of
THUPPEKHAN NE; i. e., "stream flowing from large springs."
TIM OGA: i. e., "lord," "ruler," "master;" the name of an old
Indian town on a tributary of the St. John s, Fla.
TIO GA ; For this word there are several definitions, arising, pos
sibly, from a confounding of roots, or a misapprehension of the
particular root from which the word is derived. One authority
says the word is derived from teoga, and sig. "swift current excit
ing admiration." Another very good authority, N. T. True, Esq.,
of Bethel, Me., says it is derived from teyaogen an interval, or
anything in the middle or between two things. Hence tei-ohoho-
gen "the forks of a stream," or "the place where two rivers
meet," that is, the point between them. This would very properly
apply to the place where Northumberland, Pa., now stands, in the
fork made by the North and West branches of the Susquehanna at
their place of meeting.
Revd. John Heckewelder, however, says the word is derived from
tiagoa, an Iriquoi word, and sig. "a gateway," or "a place to
enter in at." It seems the Iriquoi Indians claimed all the country
lying north and west of those two branches of the Susquehanna,
whilst the country south of them was conceded to belong to the
Owing to the physical features of the country, the point at the
48 INDIAN LOCAL NAME S.
junction of the two branches of the Susquehanna alluded to above,
was the most convenient place for intercommunication between the
territory of those two families of Indians. Of so much importance
was this place considered as a highway for intercommunication, that
Rev. David Zeisberger, a missionary, who as early as 1750 traveled
through this pass or gateway, says that a tribe of Iriquoi Indians
was stationed here to challenge all who attempted to pass through
into their country; and that they considered all persons found in
their country who did not enter it by this gate, or by way of the
Mohawk, suspicious characters, and treated them as spies or ene
The probability is all three authorities referred to above translate
corectly each his own root, and that all three original words are
now represented orthographically by the same simple word tioga,
each, however, having a sig. and originally a locality of its own, as
a local name, since we have the word as the name of a tributary of
the Chemung river near Elmira, N. Y. This, however, could cer
tainly not have been the word referred to by Mr. Heckewelder,
who was stationed at Bethlehem, Pa., and who labored exclusively
I believe with the Delaware Indians. Moreover, he says positively
the word translated by him was the name of the place where
Northumberland, Pa., now stands, and that it was given to it by
the Six Nations.
TIOGA, from teoga ; i. e., "swift current;" the name of a river
in Tioga county, Pa., flowing into the Chemung river in N. Y.
TIORONDA; this word probably means "the place where two
waters meet;" the name of a locality in Fishkill Co., N. Y.
TIOUGHNIOGA, (te-oh ne-aw ga,) teuunghuka; i. e., "meeting of
the waters;" the name of a river in Broome Co., N. Y.
TIP PECANOE ; said to mean "at the great clearing;" the name
of a river in Indiana.
TITAN KA; i. e., "big house;" the name of an Indian village on
the Dakota River.
TITANKA HE; i. e., "big house stands," or "where the big house
stands;" the name of some lakes west of the Big Sioux River.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 49
TLASCA LA; i. e., "place of bread/ the name of a town in
Mexico, a place of great importance at the Spanish conquest.
TOBYHAN NA, topi-hanne ; i. e., "alder stream;" so named from
the abundance of that shrub growing on its banks; the name of a
creek in Lehigh Co., Pa.
TOBY S CREEK, in W. Penna., was called by the Indians gwunsch-
hanne ; i. e., " briar stream."
TOCO MO RIVER, in Fla. This stream derives its name from the
Indian tribe known as the timucua, or temoga lord, ruler or
master. The tribe resided around the Mosquito Lagoon, Fla.
TOHICK ON, tohichan, or tohick-hanne ; i. e., "the stream over
which we pass by means of a bridge of drift-wood ;" the name of a
creek in Bucks Co., Pa.
TOM BICON, tombicanll; i. e., "place of crab apples;" the name
of a creek in Bucks Co., Pa.
TOMBIG BEE, itumbi-bikpi ; i. e., "coffin makers." The Choctaw
Indians had their old men with very long nails to clean the bones
of their dead, and place them in boxes, when they were deposited
in "bone houses," whence the name; the name of a river of Miss.
TOMBIKHAN NE; i. e., "crab-apple stream."
TOSKO GEE; either from tdskdis jumpers, or taskialgi warriors;
the name of an old Indian town on the Great Tennessee river.
TO TAWA FALLS, in N. J.; fosauwei; i. e., "to sink, dive, or go
under water to rise again, as timbers do when carried over a water
TOWAN DA, tawundeunk ; i. e., "at the burial place," or "where
there is a burying." The Nanticoke Indians are said to have
buried their dead at Towanda, Bradford Co., Pa.; whence the
TOW SISSIM OK, dawa-simok ; i. e., " the feeding place for cattle,"
or " the pasture ground or place."
TUCK AHOE, tuchaho we ; i. e., "deer are shy," "hard coming at
the place where deer are so shy;" the name of a creek in N. J.,
flowing into Great Egg Harbor Bay.
50 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
TUCQUAN, pduck-hanne ; i. e., " winding stream."
TUE QUAN, pduequan round, and pducachtin "round hill.
TUKPAF KA; i. e., "spunk-knot," "punky wood," "rotten
TULPEHOC KEN, tuJpewi-hacki ; land abounding in turtles;" the
name of a creek flowing into the Schuylkill near Reading, Pa.
TUNKHAN NA, tunk-hanne ; i. e., " the small, or smaller stream^;"
the name of a stream in Wyoming Co., Pa., sometimes written
TUPPEEKHANNA; i. e., "the stream that flows from a large
spring;" the name of one of the sources of the Little Lehigh river
in Lehigh Co., Pa.
TURTLE CREEK, PA., is a translation from the Indian word tul-
TUSCALOO SA, tushka warrior, lusa black; i. e., "black war
rior; " the name of a river of Alabama. Tuscaloosa was the name
of the Indian chief of "noble person and bearing," who gave
battle to De Soto at Mobile and occasioned him his first serious re
TUSKE GEE, probably derived from taskialgi warriors ; the name
of a town in Alabama.
Two LICKS CREEK in Western Pa., is a translation from the In
dian words nischa-hont, or nischa-honink.
UIUKUF KI, ukiefki muddy, oiwa water; i. e., " muddy water;"
the name of a stream in the Indian Territory. This word was the
Creek name for the Miss.
UMA HU; i. e., "hazelwood."
U POTOG\ apata-i ; i. e., "covering," "spreading out" as wall
paper, carpets, etc.; the name of a creek in Muscogee Co., Ala.
UTTAMAC COMCK, uchtamaganat ; i. e., "a path-maker," "a
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 51
UTU HU ; i. e., "oak," or "the oak;" the name of a small lake
near Lac Qui Parle, Minn.
UTI/HU OJU; i. e., "oak planting," or "oak-grove;" the name
of a small forest on the Dakota, near Ft. Wadsworth.
VENAN GO; i. e., "interesting mark on a tree;" the name of a
creek in W. Penna.
WA BASHAW, wape-sha; i. e., "red leaf;" the name of a town
and county in Minn.
WACHACH KEEK, wauchou a hill, keag land; i. e. , "hilly
land," or "highland;" the name of one of the plains in Catskill,
WA GA ; i. e,, " cottomvood ;" the name of a western tributary of
WALLENPAU PACK, or WAULI.ENPAUPACK, or PAUPACK, walink-
papeek; i. e., "deep and dead water;" the name of a creek in N.
E. Penna., flowing: into the Lackawaxen, near Honesdale.
WAI/PACK, walpeek; i. e., "a turn hole," "a deep and still
place in a stream ;" at present the name of a township in N. J.
WAM PANOAGE\ wapan east, ake land; i. e., " the east land."
This name was applied to the country east of Narragansett Bay.
WAN TAG, wundachqui ; i. e., "that way."
WAN TAGE, cuweuagi; i. e., " piece of timber land ;" at present
the name of a township in Sussex Co., N. J.
WAPALLAN NE-WACHSCH-IECH -EY ; i. e., "bald eagle s nest."
WAPPASU NING CREEK, wapachsinmuk ; i. e., "at the place of
the white stones" (or metal). The Delaware Indians called silver
WAP WALL OPEN, waph-allachpink ; i. e., "the place where white
hemp grows; the name of a creek in Luzerne Co., Pa.
WAR POES, wapoos ; i. e., "a hare, or rabbit;" the name of a
52 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
tract ofland on Manhattan island, supposed at one time to abound
WASE CA ; probably a corruption of washecha ; i. e. , " red earth,"
or " red paint."
WASEBUR, waschabuck ; \. e., "a physic."
WASHEC HA; i. e., " vermillion," or "red earth, or paint;" the
name of several small streams in Minnesota and Dakota.
WATAUGA ; said to mean "the river of islands;" the name of a
river in N. C.
WAUMBEC; i. e., " white rock;" said to be the Indian name for
the White Mountains of N. H.
WAZIO JU, or WASIO JA ; i. e., "pine grove;" the name of a
village and creek in Southern Minn.; so named from some pine
trees growing there.
WECH QUETANK, wikquetank; the name of an old Indian village
in E. Penna., called after a species of willow probably found on its
site in former years.
WECUPPE MEE; said to mean " bass wood;" the name of a small
river in Conn.
WEEHAW KEN, weachin; i. e., "maize land;" the name of a
town in N. Y., on the Hudson river.
WEPA TUCK, weepwoiunt- ohki ; i. e., "place at the narrow pass or
strait ;" the name is now applied to a mountain in Conn.
WEPOI SET; i. e., "at the little crossing place;" the Indian
name for the narrows of the Kekam uit river, R. I.
WE QUAPAUC ; i. e., "at the end of the pond;" the name of a
small stream in R. I.
WERAUWANO, probably from wajauivi "a chief," in Minsi and
WEWO KA, uewa water, wohkoto to ba/k ; i. e., "backing
water;" the name of a stream in the Indian Territory, and also of
a village on its banks.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 53
WEQUATUCK ET, wequa-tukq-ut ; i. e., "head of a tidal river;"
the name of a cove and tidal river near Stoning.ton, Conn.
WHEE LING, whilink; i. e., " at the place of the head." The
Indians say that a prisoner taken by them was put to death, and
his head placed upon a pole at the place where the city of Wheel
ing now stands ; whence the name.
WHITE DEER CREEK, Union Co., Pa., a translation from woap-
WHIP PANY, whip-hanne ; i. e., " arrow stream;" the name of a
river in Morris Co., N. J.
WICCOCAM OCA, wik hak omeko ; i. e., " where they are building
houses;" or " you see where they build houses."
WICOM ICO, wikomekec ; i. e., "where the houses are building;"
the name of a small river on the E. shore of Md.
WICONISCO, wike nkniskeu ; i. e., "wet and muddy camp;" the
name of a stream in Dauphin Co., Pa.
WIGHSACAN, wisachgin; i. e., "sour grapes." Some suppose
this word to be derived from wisachgank rum or whiskey, wisachk
signifying anything pungent to the taste.
WIKAI LA KO, u-i water, kaya rising, lako great, large; i. e.,
"large spring;" the name of a town of the Creek Indians in the
WILLIMAN TIC; Authors say this word may mean either "a good
lookout," or "good cedar swamp;" at present the name of a river
WILIP QUIN; i. e., "place of interment of skulls and bones."
The indians residing on the banks of this stream, and indeed the
Delawares generally, were in the habit of taking the skulls, and
whenever possible the other bones of their dead companions to
certain spots, and burying them in caverns and deep holes ; the
name of a creek in Md.
WINANK, winaak ; i. e., "sassafras tree."
WINGOHOCKING, wingehacking ; i. e., "favorite place for plant
ing;" the name of the south branch of Frankford Creek in Penna.
54 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
WIN^NEBA GO ; i. e., filthy," or "stinking;" originally the name
of a tribe of Indians.
WIN NEPE, we-ne-be-goo-she-shing ; i. e., "a place of dirty water;"
the name of a lake in Minn.
WIN NIPAUK, winmpaug; i. e., "fine pond." Winnipauk, saga
more of Norwalk, is supposed to have taken his name from the
place where he lived, and subsequently his name was adopted as
the name of a village in Norwalk, Conn.
WitfmPis.EO f GEE, winm-mpi-sau&e; i. e., "good water discharge
or outlet;" the name of a river and lake in N. H.; the river to
which evidently the name first belonged, being the outlet for the
WINO NA; i. e., "the first born child if a daughter," among the
Dakotas. This word has now become the name of a town in the
S. E. part of Minn.
WISAME KING, or WISAMEEK ; i. e., "catfish camp." This camp
was at or near where Washington, Pa., now stands, and for many
years was the residence of a noted Indian called Catfish.
WISAU KIN, wisachgime ; i. e., "place of grapes."
WIS CONK, Wisquonk ; i. e., " the elbow; " the name of a river
in N. J.
WISOC CON, wisachcan ; i. e., "bitter or pungent to the taste."
WISSAHICK ON, misamek-han ; i. e., "catfish stream;" the name
of a stream in Philad. Co., Pa.
WISSA YEK, qussuek a rock, ick place; i. e., "the rocky place,
or country." This was the Indian name of Dover, Westchester
Co., N. Y.
Wissi s$ AUiNG, wisc/i-a?ze-mun&; i. e., " where we were frightened,
or put to flight."
WITAKAN TU; i. e., " high island;" the name of a lake and also
of its outlet which flows into the Minn.; so called from a high
wooded island in the lake.
WITHLOCOOCHEE or WiTHLACOOCHEE ; i. e., "little river;" the
name of a river in Florida.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 55
WITUM KA, WETUMP KA, u-i water, tumkis it rumbles, makes a
noise; i. e., "rumbling water;" the name of a tributary of the
Yuchi or Euchee creek a branch of the Chatahuchi, or Chattahoo-
WIWO KA,-/ water, wokis it is roaring; i. e., "roaring water;"
the name of an eastern tributary of the Coosa river.
WOLF CREEK, in W. Penna., was called by the Indians tum meik ,
\. e., "the place of wolves."
WON GUNK; i. e., "a bend," or "at the bend." This word
refers to a great bend in the Connecticut River, between Middle-
town and Portland, Conn.
WONK EMAUG; i. e. , "crooked pond," or "a crooked pond;"
the name of a small lake in Conn.
WUN NEGUN SET; This word is said to sig. "dish" or "bowl."
It is now, however, applied to a high hill in Lebanon, Conn. The
probability is the name has been transferred from some disri or
bowl-shaped valley adjacent.
WYALU SING, machwihillusing ; i. e., "at the dwelling place of
the hoary veteran;" the name of a creek in Bradford Co., Pa.,
flowing into the Susquehanna below Towanda.
WYANO KE, wigunake ; i. e., "the point of an island," "at the
end," "land s end."
WYO MING, m cheuomi, or m cheuwami; i. e., "extensive flats."
This name was applied by the Delaware Indians to the beautiful
valley in which Wilkesbarre now stands. The North Branch of the
Susquehanna was called by the Delaware s m chuweami-sipu ; i. e.,
"the river of extensive flats." The Iriquois called it gahonta, a
word of similar import.
WVsox, WYSAUKIN ; from wisachgimi ; i. e., " place of grapes;"
the name of a stream in Bradford Co., Pa.
YANK TON, ihanktonwe ; i. e., "a town or dwelling at the end."
It is said the town oi Yankton, Dak., was named after a tribe of In
dians called Ihanktonwe. If this be true, possibly, a better defini
tion would be " the dwellers at the end."
56 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
YAN TIC. This word may sig. either "on one side of the tidal
river," or "extending to the tidal river." The name is now ap
plied to a small river in Conn.
YAZOO , yasu, or yashu ; i. e., "leaf," or "leafy;" the name of
a river in Miss.
YEL LOW BREECHES, callapassrink ; i. e., " where it turns back
again;" supposed to refer to some place on the stream where it
turns a sharp angle. This stream, for some distance, forms the
boundary line between York and Adams counties, Pa., and flows
into the Susquehanna a short distance below Harrisburg.
YEMAS SEE, ya massi; i. e., "mild," "gentle," "peaceable."
The word was first applied to a tribe of Indians inhabiting Ga., and
is now the name of a town in that state north of Savannah.
YOSEM ITE ; said to mean "grizzly bear."
YOUGHIOGHENY, yuh-wiak-hanne ; i. e., "a stream running a
contrary or roundabout course;" the name of a river in Fayette
ALLEGHENY RIVER. This stream was called by the Senecas
o-hee-yo ; i. e., "beautiful river." They seem to have applied the
same name to the Ohio ; Indeed some suppose our word Ohio to be
derived from this root instead of ohui-opeek-hanne.
BINGHAMTON, N. Y. The place where this city stands was called
by the Mohawks o-che-nang ; i. e., "bull thistles."
BUFFALO, N. Y. The site of this city was called by the Senecas
do-sho-weh ; i. e., "splitting the fork."
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 57
CANANDAI GUA, ga-nun-da-gwa ; i. e., "a place selected for set
tlement;" the name of a lake in N. Y. It was no uncommon
thing for the Indians to adopt new sites for their villages, quite
frequently, for sanitary reasons.
CANADO WA CREEK, in New York, ga-na-da-wa-o ; i. e., " run
ning through the hemlocks."
CANEADE A CREEK, ga-oya-de-o ; i. e., "where the heavens rest
upon the earth ; " the name of a stream in N. Y.
CANESERA GA CREEK, in Chenango Co., N. Y., ka-na-so-wa-ga ;
i. e., " several strings of beads with a string lying across." There
is another creek, precisely of this orthography, in Livingston Co.,
N. Y., said to be derived from ga-nus-ga go, and to sig. "among
the milk weed." Both roots, with their sig., are obtained from very
high authority, and the probability is the similarity in the modern
orthography is a mere coincidence.
CANESTO TA, ka-ne-to-ta ; i. e., " pine tree standing alone; " the
name of a small creek in Chenango Co., N. Y.
CANIS TEO RIVER, in Steuben Co., N. Y., ta-car-nase-te-o ; i. e.,
" board on the water."
CANO GA, ga-no-geh ; i. e., " oil flowing on the water ; " the name
of a town on Cayuga Lake, N. Y.
CASSADA GA LAKE, N. Y., gus-da-go ; i. e., "under the rocks."
CASSADA GO CREEK, N. Y. This word is from the same root as
the above and has the same signification.
CATARA QUE RIVER, N. Y., ga-dai-o-que ; i. e., "fort in the
water;" the name by which Lake Ontario was known to the Eng
lish at an early day.
CATTARAU GUS CREEK, in Cattaraugus Co., N. Y., ga-da-ges-ga-o ;
i. e., " feted banks."
CAUGWA GA, ga-gwa-ga ; i. e., "creek of the cat nation;" the
name of a small river in Erie Co., N. Y.
CAYU V GA RIVER, N. Y., ga-da-geh; i. e.. " through the oak open
58 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
CAYU GA LAKE, N. Y. L. H. Morgan, Esq., in the appendix to
his League of the Iriquois, says this word is derived from gwe-u -
gweh in the Cayuga dialect and sig. " the lake of the murky
land." Compare this sig. with those in the general vocabulary.
CHAUTAU QUA LAKE, N. Y., cha-da-gueh ; i. e., " place where one
was l^st." I deem this definition far more reliable than the one
given in the general vocabulary.
CHAUTAU QUE CREEK, in N. Y. Mr. Morgan says this word is
derived from go-no-wun-go, and sig. " the rapids."
CHENAN GO, o-che-nang; i. e., "bull thistles;" the name of a
river in N. Y.
CHESTER RIVER, in Delaware Co., Pa., was called by the Dela-
wares, Macapanackhan, from meechappenackhan ; i. e., "the large
CHEMUNG ; said to mean " big horn," from an immense tusk of
a mastodon or other antediluvian animal found in its bed ; the
name of a river in Southern New York, flowing into the Susque-
CHITTENAN GO, chu-de-naang ; i. e., "where the sun shines out;"
the name of a creek in N. Y.
CLARION RIVER, Clarion Co., Pa., was called by the Delaware
Indians, gawunsch-hanne ; i. e., "briar stream."
CO HOES FALLS, N. Y., ga-ha-oose ; i. e., " shipwrecked canoe."
CONEWAN GO ; Mr. Morgan says this word is from go-no-wun-go,
and sig. " the rapids;" the name of a river in N. Y. See General
CONHOC TON RIVER, ga-ha-to ; i. e., "a log in the water."
CONNES US, ga-ne-a-sos ; i. e., "place of nanny-berries;" the
name of a lake in Livingston Co., N. Y.
CON ODAW, gunniada; i. e., "he tarries long."
CONOY , guneu; i. e., "long;" the name of a creek in Lancas
ter Co., Pa.
DUCK CREEK, in Delaware, was called by the Indians quniquin-
gus, i. e., " wild duck."
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 59
GANOWAU GES or CANAWAU GUS, ga-no-wau-ges ; i. e., " feted
waters;" the name of a town in Livingston Co., N. Y.
GARDOW VILLAGE, ga-da-o ; i. e., "bank in fort."
GEXESEE , gennis-he-yo ; i. e., "the beautiful valley;" the name
of a river in N. Y.
HOCK ENDAU QUA or HOCKENDOCQUE, hackuindochwe ; the name
of a stream in Northampton Co., Pa. See Genl. Voe.
HON EYOE, ha-ne-a-yeh ; i. e., "ringer lying;" the name of a lake
in Monroe Co., N. Y.
IRONDE QUOIT, neo-da-on-da-quat ; i. e., "a bay;" the name of
a bay in Monroe Co., N. Y.
NIAG ARA FALLS was called by the Senecas, who lived near them,
date-car-sko-sasa ; i. e., "the highest falls."
ONONDA GA, o-mm-da-ga ; i. e., "on the hills;" the name of a
creek in New York. See Genl. Voc.
ONTA RIO, ska-no-da-rio ; i. e., "beautiful lake." This root is
from the Mohawk language. Compare with sig. in Gen. Voc.
ORISK ANY, o-his-heh ; i. e., "place of nettles;" the name of a
creek in N. Y.
OSWA YA, o-so-a-yeh; i. e., "pine forest;" the name of a creek
in Cattaraugus Co., N. Y.
OSWE GO, b-swa-gch; i. e., "flowing out." This river forms the
outlet for a large number of lakes in Central N. Y. The word is
of Mohawk origin.
OTSQUA GO, o-squa-go ; i. e., "under the bridge;" the name of
a creek in N. Y.
OWAS CO, dwas-co ; i. e., "lake of the floating bridge;" the
name of a lake in Cayuga Co., N. Y.
60 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
OWE GO, ah-wa-ga; i. e., "where the valley widens;" the name
of a river in Tioga Co., N. Y.
SCHENECT ADY, ska-neh-ta-da ; i. e., "beyond the openings."
This root is from the Seneca dialect, and varies somewhat from that
in the Genl. Voc. Possibly a better translation would be "beyond
the pine openings."
SKANEAT ICE or SKANEATELES, sha-ne-a-dice ; "long lake;" the
name of a lake in Onondaga Co., N. Y.
ST. LAWRENCE. This river was called by the Oneidas ga no-
wa-ga; i. e., "the rapid river."
SUSQUEHAN NA. In the Onondaga dialect, this river was called
ga-wa-no-wa-na-neh ; i. e., "great island river."
We can hardly suppose, however, that the present name of this
river is a corruption of this root, though a metamorphose as great
as this would be, has frequently taken place in Indian names when
undergoing adjustment to the English tongue.
TICONDERO GA, je-hone-ta-lo-ga ; i. e, "noisy;" the name was
applied by the Indians to the falls at the outlet of Lake George, in
TIC/GA POINT, N. Y., in the Cayuga dialect, was called ta-yo-ga ;
i. e., "at the forks."
TIOUGHNIO GA, o-nan-no-gi-is-ka ; i. e., "shag-bark hickory;"
the name of a river in Cortland Co., N. Y.
TONAWAN DA, ta-na-wun-da ; i. e., "swift water;" the name of
a river in Genessee Co., N. Y.
TORON TO ; probably a corruption from di-on-da; i. e., "log
floating on the water."
UNADIL LA, de-u-na-dil-lo ; i. e., "place of meeting;" the name
of a town in Otsego Co., N. Y.
WISCOY, o-wa-is-ki; i. e. "under the banks;" the name of a
creek in Wyoming Co., N. Y.
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 6 1
AARGAU (ar gow} ; i. e., " a county or district of the Aar ;" the
name of a canton of Switzerland on the river Aar.
AAYN; an Arabic word sig. fountain," generally written ain.
ABAD ; a Hindoo word sig. "abode" or "dwelling place," oc
curring frequently as a suffix in Hindostan.
AFRICA ; this word is supposed to be derived from the name of
some tribe in the neighborhood of Carthage, whose name signified
"wanderers." Others think this word means "south land."
Others, again, that it means "land of corn or ears."
AHMED ABAD ; i. e., "the abode of Ahmed;" the name of a city
AIGUES MORTES (ag morf) ; i. e., "the dead, or still waters;"
the name of a town of France, located in marsh ground near the
AIN; an Arabic word sig. " fountain."
Aix, (aks} ; a French word sig. "water." This name is given
to a city of France, near which are hot saline springs, the Aqua
Lextia of the Romans. It is also the name of an ancient town in
Sardinia, whose thermal springs have been noted for centuries.
Aix LA CHAPELLE (aks-la-sha pell ^} ; i. e., " the waters," or "the
fountains;" the name of a city of Prussia, noted for its thermal
AL ; this word is the Arabic definite article the, and is found as
a prefix in a great many names in Spain and elsewhere.
ALA MO; a Spanish word sig. "poplar trees;" the name of an
old fort in Bexar Co., Texas. Here, on March 6, 1836, a small
body of Tt xans with the eccentric Davy Crocket at their head re
sisted a body of Mexicans of ten times their number till the last
man was slain. From this circumstance the Alamo has been called
the Thermopylae of Texas.
62 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
ALHAMBRA; i. e., "the red;" so called from the color of the
stones of which this magnificent Moorish palace is built. It stands
on an eminence overlooking the city of Granada in Spain.
ALLAH ABAD; i. e., "the abode of God." The Hindoos esteem
the waters of both the Ganges and Jumna sacred and efficacious in
purifying them of sin, and regard the spot where those two rivers
meet as a most sacred shrine. To this place they perform annual
pilgrimages lo the number of several thousands, for purposes of
worship and purification. In consequence, a large city has grown
up here which has taken the name of the shrine.
ALPS ; this word is probably derived from the Welsh root al
grand, sublime, and pen head; i. e., "the grand or sublime
head." If this origin of the word be the correct one, it is another
and additional proof of the great antiquity of the Welsh language.
ALTA CALIFORNIA; i. e., "Upper California."
AMAZON a-madzon ; i. e., "from the breast" or "without
breasts." This river was so named by Orellana, who deserting
Pizzaro during the latter s operations in Peru, marched eastward
across the Andes until he reached the head waters of that mighty
river ; then embarking on its bosom, explored it to its mouth, en
countering on his voyage, as he says, much hostility from the
natives, especially fromfema/e warriors, who to secure greater free
dom in their movements, had either removed their breasts or greatly
reduced them by compression, so much so as to render those organs
AM ORITES ; i. e., "mountaineers."
ANDALUSIA. The probability is this word is of Arabic origin,
and signifies "hesperia or the region of the evening."
Others suppose it to be a corruption of Vandalusia, and to mean
the country of the Vandals. The term is applied to that delight
ful district of Spain lying south of the Sierra Morena Mountains.
ATHLONE, Athluan\ i. e., " ford of the moon;" the name of a
town and barony of Ireland.
AUSTRIA, oest-reich; i. e., "the east kingdom;" so named by
the Emperor Charlemagne.
AVON ; from the Celtic word afon water. In England this
word occurs several times as the name of streams.
INDIA.N LOCAL NAMES. 63
BAALBEC, or BALBEC; i. e., "the city of Baal." The Greeks
called this city Heliopolis a word of similar import. Baal is a
Hebrew word sig. "lord," "owner" or "master," and with the
Babylonians and Assyrians was the god of the sun.
BAD, pi. BADEN, (Ger.;) i. e., "bath" or "baths."
BAHIA HONDA, (ba-ee a on da} ; i. e., " deep bay;" the name of
a harbor in Cuba.
BALACLAVA, bella chiava ; i. e., "the beautiful quay ;" the
name of a town of Russia on the Black Sea; so named by the
BALIZE; i. e., "beacon," "sea mark," "light house." Now
the name of a political division of Cent. America.
BEAR LAKE, GREAT ; a lake of British America, so named from
its position under the constellation of the Great Bear, the Arctic
(Arctos bear] circle passing over it.
BEERSHEBA; i. e., "well of the oath."
BELFAST ; this word is a corruption of the Norse words beal na
farsad ; i. e., "the mouth of the fiord;" the name of a town in
the North of Ireland.
BEN LOMOND; i. e., "beacon mountain."
BEN VENUE; "little mountain." This word and the foregoing
are names of mountains in Scotland.
BETH; a Hebrew word sig. " house."
BETHANY; i. e., " the house of dates."
BETHEL; i. e., "the house of God."
BIRMINGHAM, brom heath, wych or wick village, ham home;
i. e., "the village on the heath," or "the home village on the
heath." This latter definition is not very elegant or satisfactory.
The word ham enclosure or home, in this case seems to be sur-
plussage, as the word wych would seem to convey equally well the
idea of home or dwelling place ; the name of a great manufacturing
city of England.
BOKHARA; i. e., "the treasury of sciences." The name of a fa
mous city of W. Asia, once the seat of Mohammedan learning.
64 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
BOSTON, BO-STON, BOTOLPH S-TON ; i. e., " Bartholomew s town ;"
the name of a town in Lincolnshire, Eng. The foregoing deriva
tion is given by Rev. Isaac Taylor, of England, in his Words
BRAHMAPOOTRA; i. e., "the son of Brahm;" the name of a
river of India rising in the Plateau of Thibet.
BRYN MAWR ; a word of Welsh origin sig. " big hill," or "great
hill;" the name of a station on the Penna. R. R., near Philad.
BUENA VISTA, (dona vis ta) ; i. e., " the good view;" the name
of a celebrated battle field in the N. W., part of Mexico, made
memorable by the victory obtained here by the Americans under
General Z. Taylor, over the Mexicans.
CADIZ, Phon. gadir ; i. e., "an enclosure." No doubt, where
this city stands there was at first only a trading post of the Phoeni
cians ; which for greater security, was by some means enclosed. Or
the name may have had allusion to the fact that ihe town was built
upon an island, and hence enclosed by water; the name of a seaport
town of Spain.
CALCUT TA, Kaller Ghatta ; i. e., "the step or landing place of
Kaller" the goddess of Time.
CALIFORNIA. This name is supposed to have been taken from an
old Spanish romance by Ordonez de Montalva, published about the
year 1510. The romance referred to an island of California on the
right hand of the Indies very near the Terrestrial Paradise.
The name was first applied to an island or the peninsula of Cali
fornia, which was at first thought to be an island, and was adopted
from the novel from 1535 to 1539. It is not known that Cortez
was the first to apply it, and some even suppose it was first used in
CAMBRIA, cymry ; i. e., "the country of the mountaineers," or
" the land of the mountaineers;" the ancient name of Wales.
CAMDEN; i. e., "crooked vale;" the name of a town near Lon
CANARIES, Lat. cants a dog; i. e., "dog islands;" so named
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 65
from the circumstance that when first discovered, those islands
were found to abound in wild dogs.
CANTERBURY, cant wara byrig; i. e., "the men of the head
land;" the name of a city and county of England.
CAPE; from the Latin word caput a head. For this word the
Italians have capo, the Spaniards and Portuguese, cabo, and the
CAPE BLANCO; i. e., "the white, blank, or bare head;" the
name of several barren headlands on different parts of the globe.
CAPE HORN, or HOORN ; so named by the Dutch navigator
Shout-in, who first doubled it, in honor of his native village of
Hoorn, on the Zuyder Zee.
CHAMPS ELYSEES (sh ons -e-le-ze] ; i. e., "The Elysian Fields;" the
name of a magnificent avenue in the city of Paris, extending from
the Gardens of the Tuilleries to the Arc de Triomphe de 1 Etoile;
that is to trie arch of triumph of the star twelve streets radiating
from this arch.
COLUMBIA RIVER, Oregon ; discovered by Capt. Robt. Gray, of
Boston, in 1792, and named by him in honor of his vessel, the
COPENHAGEN; i. e., " the market place harbor."
DARDANELLES ; from Dardcenus, an ancient town on the Asiatic
side of those straits built by Dardanus, the ancestor of Priam.
DARM; a German word, sig. " gut" or " intestine."
DETROIT; from the French, and sig. "the narrows," or "the
DORCHESTER. This is a hybrid word, from the Celtic word
dur water, and the Latin word castra camp, and sig. "the camp
by the water." Very good authority, however, claims that this
word means "dwellers by the water."
DOUGLAS; i. e., "black water;" the name of a stream in Scot
66 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
EBENEZER; i. e. " stone of help."
EDINBOROUGH; i. e. "Edwin s Castle, or Fort. The Celtic
form is Dun Edin Burgh, sig. castle or fortification. This word
was formerly written Edwinsburg.
EDOM; i. e., "the red;" supposed by some to be so named
from the ruddy hue of its mountains ; by others from the reddish
color of the pottage furnished Esau, to whose lot this country fell,
by his brother Jacob. The country of Edom lies between the
head of the Red Sea and Palestine.
EHRENBREITSTEIN; i. e., "honor s broad stone;" the name of a
town and noted fortress on the Rhine.
FOND DU LAC; a French word sig. "end of the lake;" the name
of a town in Wisconsin, at the head of lake Winnebago.
FONTAINEBLEAU; this French word is supposed to be derived
iiQ\r\fontaine-belle-eau "fountain of beautiful water;" the name
of a small town of France near Paris.
GALENA; from galena a species of lead ore; the name of a city
in 111., situated near some rich mines of lead.
GALILEE; i. e., "a circle;" the name of a lake in Palestine.
GERMANY ; supposed to be derived from the Gaelic word gair-
mean ; i. e., "one who cries out;" and the name either alludes to
the fierce war cry of the Teutonic hordes, or more probably it ex
presses the wonder with which the Celts of Gaul listened to the un
intelligible clash of the harsh German gutturals. Other authorities
say the word is derived from wherman and sig. " war men."
GIBRALTAR, Gebel el Taric ; i. e., "Taric s Hill," or "Taric s
In the year 711 a body of Saracens under their leader Taric Ibn
Zeyad, crossed over from Africa and took possession of the southern
extremity of Spain, calling the promontory which for ages had
been known as the Northern Pillar of Hercules, after their leader
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 67
Taric. Gebel is an Arabic word sig. "hill," e. g., Gebel
Mousa ; i. e., hill of Moses. If I mistake not the word taric or
tarik sig. " clear the way." If so, those hardy warriors of the des
ert had given to their leader an appropriate sobriquet, since it was
Taric, indeed, who led their vanguard and cleared the way for
that Saracenic host which finally overran Spain and held its fairest
provinces under subjection for nearly eight centuries.
HAPSBURG; i. e., "Hawk s Castle."
HAVANA; i. e., "the haven," or "the harbor." This city of
Cuba has one of the very finest harbors in the world.
HAVRE; i. e., "the haven."
HEIM; a German word, sig. "home," now a suffix to many
names of towns and villages in Germany, and wherever the Ger
man language prevails.
HELLESPONT; i. e., "the Sea of Helle." Helle was the daugh
ter of Athmos, king of Thebes, and is said to have been drowned
in this strait.
HELL GATE; a corruption of the old Dutch name, Horll Gatt ;
i. e,, "whirl passage; the name of a dangerous rapid in New York
ING; an English suffix, sig. " son of, " e. g., Reading, i. e.,
"son of Read."
INTERHCHEN; i. e., " between the lakes;" the name of a village
of Switzerland, on the river Aar, between lakes Thun and Brienz ;
whence the name. The town is devoid of interest in itself, but is
noted for the grandeur of the surrounding scenery.
INVERNESS; i. e. "at the confluence of the Ness." This town of
Scotland stands near the junction of the river Ness with Moray
JAN MAYAN ISLAND, discovered by Jan Mayan, a Dutch whaling
captain, and named in his honor; the name of an island in the
JAVA; immjayah; i. e., "nutmeg."
68 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
KEY WEST; a corruption of the Spanish words cayo hueso, and
sig. "bone islets." The name has no reference to the position of
the island, since it is not the most western of the Florida Keys, but
has its origin in the beautifully white and bone-like appearance of
the coral formations which fringe the shore.
LA GRANGE; i. e., the "barn," "farm-house," or "country
LA LAND ; i. e., " low land ;" the name of an island of Denmark
in the Baltic sea.
LA LANDES ; "the plains;" the name of a district of France.
LAMA; i. e., " one who shows the way."
LONDON ; the word is supposed to be of Celtic origin, and to sig.
"city of ships," or "ship-town." Some suppose don or dun is of
Welsh origin, and sig. "fort."
Los ANGELOS, (loce an -jeh-lez) ; i. e., "the angels;" the name
of a town in California.
MADEIRA, Port. Madera\ i. e., "timber." The Madeira River,
an affluent of the Amazon still flows through a dense forest.
MADRE DE DIGS ; i. e., " mother of God ;" the name of an ar
chipelago west of Patagonia.
MATAMORAS; mata bush, moras mulberry; i.e., "mulberry
MATTERHORN ; German matt meadow, horn peak; i. e. "the
peak in the meadows."
NETHERLANDS, nederlanden; i. e., "the lowlands;" the name
of a portion of Europe lying along the North Sea, now known as
Holland, containing the mouths of the Rhine, Meuse, &c. Much
of the surface near the coast is lower than the surface of the sea,
and has to be protected from the ocean by dykes or embankments.
OREGON; so called by Malte Brun, the great geographer, in
mistake. Reading on an old Spanish map, "and it is not yet
INDIAN LOCAL NAMES. 69
known (y-aun se ignora) where the source of this river (the river
now called the Columbia) is situated," he thought he recognized
in the word ignora, the name Oregon. Alexander von Humboldt
is quoted as the authority for the foregoing statement.
PALESTINE, Hebraic, pe lescheth ; i. e., "philistines," "strangers,"
" sojourners," " wanderers."
PALMYRA; i. e., "the city of palm trees."
PALO ALTO; i. e., "high post, stake, or mast;" the name of a
battle-field near the southern boundary of Texas.
PIKE S PEAK; named in honor of Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike, who
explored much of the country west of Miss., under President Jef
ferson. He fell in making a successful assault on the town of York
in Upper Canada, in 1813.
QUATRE BRAS, (kafrbra); i. e., "four arms;" the name of a vil
lage of Belgium situated about ten miles south-east of Waterloo ; so
named because, at this point, the road from Brussels to Charleroi
intersects the road from Namur to Nivelles, producing/^;- arms.
RATISBON, a corruption of the German word Regensburg; i. e.,
" the town at the Regen ;" the name of a town of Bavaria on the
Danube, opposite the mouth of the Regen.
ROCHESTER, rhos moor, castra camp; i. e., "the camp on
the moor;" the name of a city of England on the Medway.
SACRAMENTO; i. e., "the sacrament;" the name of a city in
Like many other places in the new world, explored and settled
by nations professing the Catholic religion, the spot where this city
stands was, originally, in all probability, a missionary station, and
received, as was almost the universal custom with these stations, a
SAN SALVADOR; i. e., " holy saviour ;" the name given by Co
lumbus to the first land discovered by him.
SAVANNAH; from the Spanish word sabana meadow, prairie, or
70 INDIAN LOCAL NAMES.
SINAI; i. e., "jagged," or "full of cliffs."
SIGN, ZION ; i. e., " the upraised."
SOUDAN, Arabic, suda ; i. e., "blacks;" e. g., Beled-es^suda
"the land of the blacks."
TEXAS. This name is taken from a town of the Nassomtes In
dians, standing on the Neches River, between the Ceries and the
Sabine. The signification of the name is in obscurity. It may
have referred to some insignificant tribe of Indians. Some suggest
it may have been derived from the Spanish word teja, plural tejas,
in allusion to the light shed covering of the dwellings of the natives.
TRANS ; a ward of Latin origin sig. "across " or "beyond " and
used as a prefix to many local names; e. g., Transylvania ; i. e.,
" beyond the woods."
UAM VAR ; i. e., "great den " or " great cavern ;" the name of
a mountain in Perth Co., Scotland. It derives its name from a re
treat among its rocks on the south side which tradition says was
formerly inhabited by a giant. Allusion is made to this mountain
in Scott s Lady of the Lake.
VOLGA or WOLGA ; a Sarmatian word, sig. " the great river."
WARRINGTON; possibly from waer-ing-ton ; i. e., "the fortified
enclosure," or "the fortified town in the meadow;" the name of
a town in Lancaster Co., England.
YORK; from Eurewic or Yarewic ; i. e., the town on the Eure ;
the name of a very old town in York Co., England, standing on
the banks of the Ouse river. As the Ouse is formed by the junc
tion of the Swale and Eure, or Ure, the probability is the name
Eure, or Ure, was formerly applied to what is now known as the
ZEE; a Dutch word, sig. "sea "
ZUYDER ZEE; i. e., "southern sea."
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